As always, when I have an idea and don’t act upon it somebody else does it (don’t ask me about optical mice). Kudos to TJ MCCue for getting out there and showing small business owners how the customer experience is connected to the online experience to the local experience (and so on).
First impressions count. That is an accepted maxim and there is truth to it. Within the first 7 seconds, what will your visitors see? Is your store “readable”?I bet you think I’m talking about an online store, but I’m not. I am talking about bricks and mortar, real world storefronts, where you and I shop. Or at least we used to. I just recently worked on a hyperlocal small business project where I walked and visited along the main street of two towns near me. I visited 70-plus retail stores, shot 170 short videos (1.89 Gigabytes worth), had 10 great conversations with employees or owners, experienced 2 epic fails, and discovered 21 takeaways for small business owners based on my usual online work combined with this Main Street walk.
This is something I am planning on doing with our local businesses soon. The full takeaway article (link is at the bottom) has tons of really great tips like ensuring your customer is greeted properly (and giving them a gift!), bringing them into your online world for repeat business, and using website analysis techniques on your physical storefront.
Remember Smokey the Bear with “you can prevent forest fires”? Well, you can prevent small business failures. Are your local merchants making their stores readable? Is the first impression a strong one? This isn’t just friendly advice you’ll share with a local merchant. Advice like this is what will keep them in business and on Main Street and that’s what we all want: Diversity and energy and success for retailers and other small businesses because they help drive our economies.