There are almost 10,000 Independent gift shops across the UK. They are on almost every high street with a concentration in coastal towns that expect tourism. They are a vital part of every small town's economy.
With the Vaccine now making its mark, and the roadmap set to open up for the Summer, confidence is increasing and there is a general drive to get out and about, and get “back to normal”. However this year we are unlikely to see a flood to European destinations but an increase in lower cost, safer options like visiting the traditional Holiday places around the UK, and in the comfort of our own car. There is simply nothing like a long sunny weekend at the coast, great for families and something for all ages to enjoy.In this safe space, there's little fear of online Gift retailers. All gift shops have their own niche, often managed by the owners with a personal passion for gifting. Visiting a Gift shop, walking along the High street, window shopping and passing the time of day are all part of enjoying a holiday. Holidaymakers will be out and ready to buy.
So here's 4 ideas to propel success in your gift shop this Summer
Be present, set up a window display, and keep the door open
Make sure you are open at the best times of the day. Possibly stay open later, to give yourself the best chance. Never forget the barrier a shop door creates, it’s much easier for a customer to walk through a welcoming open doorway than to have to push open a closed door. Coming in should be a natural progression to first looking in the window.
The necessary Covid-measures
You hardly need to read it here but have the essentials; like the hand sanitiser, wipes if you are going to give customers a basket. Follow the government guidance on reopening, customers will expect it. And remember don’t get too close!
Greet your Customers, and Keep Smiling
If there’s one thing we want to do after the last 12 months of lockdowns... We want to meet people. We are gregarious, so say “hello” in a friendly way with a smile, and add “if you want help just ask”. Make your customers feel instantly at home. Remember the media and Government has been encouraging them to buy local and to go on a UK holiday so just let them do it… And never forget smiles are so valuable.
Offer great service
Just being helpful is offering value to your customer. If they have bought some giftwrap you could offer to wrap the Gift for them, this saves them time and they may not be very confident at wrapping their own gifts. You could charge for this or you could offer it as a complementary service. For large items you can offer to hold their purchase for picking up later as a convenience. In whatever you do keep the customer in mind and create a great shopping experience they can remember and you will succeed.
Here’s to the Great British Summertime we're looking forward to... the Summer of 2021.
Image Source: Unsplash