How to Implement Outdoor Shopping for Your Indoor Retailer
The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and despite having been cooped up for over a year, your customers have little interest in shopping in a confined retail store. While the word “retail store” traditionally evokes images of large, fluorescent-lit department stores with no windows in sight, today’s shoppers expect more. That’s why many retailers have implemented outdoor shopping as an alternative to traditional indoor operations.
By giving your customers the option to shop outdoors, you’re providing them with a pleasant, unique experience as well as driving more traffic to your store. Interested in implementing outdoor shopping but not sure how or where to start? Begin by reading our guide:
Maximize Your Space
Every retailer has a different store set-up. Some have stand-alone shops with unlimited outdoor space while others are squeezed next to other businesses like sardines. If you find that your situation is similar to the latter, you may have already decided that it’s impossible to implement outdoor shopping — but have you thought of everything your space is capable of?
While you may not have a ton of acreage for outdoor shopping, sidewalk sales are always a crowd pleaser. As long as you ensure that you’re not restricting the mobility of those passing through, even having just a sampling of your offerings outside can be a breath of fresh air for shoppers. What’s more, you can attract new customers by enticing those shopping at the businesses around you. If they see you outside, they may be more inclined to stop by and check things out, rather than having to commit to going into your store.
Even if you don’t have a true outdoor location at your disposal, you can make your space seem more outdoorsy simply by opening or installing large windows, keeping doors open, or decorating with plants. By making your retail space more open and airy, you can create the illusion of outdoor shopping while remaining inside.
Maybe you don’t have windows, a patio, sidewalk, or other readily available space on premises. Can you partner with someone who does? It may be wise to explore collaborations with other local retailers, or restaurants and bars with outdoor seating. By advertising your products in these outdoor spaces, your customers can enjoy your brand outdoors and you can potentially attract new customers who otherwise would not have walked into your retail store.
If possible, consider signing up for local festivals or events in nearby parks or other communal spaces where you can show off your brand. Customers love walking through social events to window shop; they may stumble across your business and become a new customer!
Invest in Software that Moves with You
The whole idea of outdoor shopping would be compromised if customers have to go into your store to checkout. That’s why for any outdoor shopping to be successful, your store associates need to be able to complete transactions away from a fixed POS. Ensure that you’re implementing technology that can handle the flexibility that you need, such as self-service kiosks, tablet POS, and other “mobile” options.
When your staff is equipped with tablet POS units or other mobile options, they can process payments on-the-spot. If customers have questions about products, staff can quickly and easily access inventory information from their device without having to run inside the store for answers. This will only improve the outdoor shopping experience and encourage customers to return.
While your outdoor shopping operations may be running, you still need employees to man the fort indoors. Self-service kiosks can save you from increasing labor costs by allowing outdoor shoppers to check themselves out. This means that you won’t have to double the amount of workers per shift to cover both indoor and outdoor operations, only scheduling a few employees to oversee outdoor shopping activity.
Implementing outdoor shopping is an excellent way to encourage business and drive new traffic to your store, but it can’t be done without the right technology. The solutions that NCC offers can make outdoor shopping a reality for your indoor retailer, whenever the weatherman gives you the go-ahead. Contact our team of experts today to get started on your outdoor adventure.