Singapore is known as one of largest shopping paradises in Asia. There are about 17,000 retail establishments based in Singapore, all placed in numerous shopping centres and mega malls around the country. The commerce sector contributes to 18.3% of the GDP, with retail adding up to 4.6%. If you ‘d like to be apart of the large retail industry, here are some tips on how you can kickstart your retail store now!
Retail is the sale of goods to the public for use or consumption. So first and foremost, you need to figure out what you want to sell. Selling the right product to the right crowd is the driving force of your business. As long as there’s demand and where to find it, then there will always be sales for your store.
Here are a couple of things that you can consider when deciding what product to sell:
- What is missing in the market? Is there a gap in the market that you can fill with a new product? Do some market research and see what problems customers have or what do they need. Once you know what you want to sell or make, look for product developers who can help you turn your idea into an actual product!
- If you are not sure about what to showcase in the market, perhaps a good start is to look at your hobbies and explore the possibility of it turning into a business opportunity. Since you already have some knowledge in that area, it’ll be easier for you to sell the products. You will not only be able to do something related to your hobby/passion, you can also make money from it.
- If you have a full-time job, you can put your existing skills and knowledge into good use! For instance, if you work in a beauty salon, you can consider setting up a beauty shop retailing the popular beauty products that you know of. Most importantly, you need to be sure that the demand of the product is high enough to generate business.
A retail store should be designed to draw high volume of walk-in customers. There are many factors to be taken into account when considering the ideal location. Rental prices vary with location as well as the size of the office or retail space. While a space in a popular shopping mall will potentially lead to high traffic, you need consider the monthly rental payment as well. Do some research before deciding on the ideal location for your store, with a rent that you can afford, and if necessary, engage help from real estate agents to set you on the right path.
While setting up a boutique is ideal for all retail goers, there are other ways to do retail that are taking over traditional retail methods. Pop up stores and flea markets are some of the popular methods that retailers can test the popularity of their products (and not be burdened by rental costs) at the initial stage.
While having a good store location helps in getting awareness and traffic flow into your shop, your shop traffic is still subjected to proximity limitation. This is where marketing comes in. You need to properly define your marketing objectives and strategies before you even open your store. You can market your store online on social media platforms or place advertisements around in order to create some brand awareness.
Additionally, getting featured in PR platforms, endorsements by influencers are some of the ways that you can increase outreach for your product(s).
Engaging a web developer to design your own retail website can also be a possible marketing approach.
How can you stand out amongst the other 17,000 establishments in Singapore? First impression is important when doing business, and the outlook of your retail space is the key to create a good first impression. The feel of the shop’s interior design is as important as the outlook as it is the first point of contact your customers have with your brand. Get some store design ideas from successful boutiques that have similar target audience or consult an interior designer to make the best out of your space.
Tracking your employee’s sales record, various payment methods, issuing purchasing receipts, barcode scanner, and many more. All these are some of the basic features that a good POS system should entail, and something that a retail shop cannot do without.
As the POS system develops, it’s possible for your POS system can have your products, inventory, orders, customer database and many more all automatically updated and backed in a cloud server! Read here on a list of new POS systems you can implement in your store.
Book-keeping is one of the most essential functions of your retail company as it records all the financial transactions within your company, as well as accounting for all expenses and sales among others. Diligently keeping records of the cash flow of the store allows you to keep track of your store’s expenditure, earning as well as the debts that have to be paid. This way, you can have an accurate reference of what is more profitable in the long run, and how you can improve your business.
In retail (or any industry for that matter), relevance of your product to the existing market determines whether your business can survive. You need to improvise your products/continue sourcing for new ones over time to sustain your retail business in the long run. If your product or new creation is relevant and peaks the interest of investors, you could even possibly attain some business funding.
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