34 search results for “Lauren Ufford”

How Retailers Can Take Advantage of the Summer Travel Season

How Retailers Can Take Advantage of the Summer Travel Season

Summer travel shopping | Shopify Retail blogThe summer travel season is in full swing. And while this is a boon for the hospitality and tourism industries, of course, what about the retail industry?

Yes, the busy summer travel season can benefit far more than just hoteliers and tourist destinations. Retailers can get in on all the tourism spending during this time of year as well. So, whether your retail business is primarily online or also has brick-and-mortar locations, there are ways to take advantage of the summer travel season and all the potential customers that come with it.

Here, we’ve rounded up how you can take advantage of this seasonal spending and offer eager merchants some examples of retailers who are already doing it well.

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How to Get a Loan for Your Small Business

How to Get a Loan for Your Small Business

How to get a small business loan for retail | Shopify Retail blogThinking of opening your first brick-and-mortar retail store? While retail storefronts can be an exciting and potentially lucrative venture, even the smallest of stores require some upfront capital to get up and running.

According to one account from Forbes, aspiring retailers should expect to invest around $100,000 for renovations on your desired space and the cost for your first round of inventory to stock your store. While you might not require that much to start or expand your current business, who has even half that amount of cash sitting unused in a bank account?

Small business loans can be a great way to kickstart your new business or help you grow at an accelerated pace. But how do you get a small business loan — what does the process entail? The loan application alone can seem daunting, but it doesn’t need to be overwhelming. Here we’ve outlined the primary steps to help you get through the loan application for your retail business.

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Let There Be Light: Retail Lighting Designs to Encourage Sales

Let There Be Light: Retail Lighting Designs to Encourage Sales

Retail lighting design | Shopify Retail blog

When setting up your retail store, there are a lot of questions to answer: how to best display your products, where certain products should go, how the general layout of your store should look, and much more.

But what about lighting design? While lighting may be an afterthought for many retailers who are just starting out, retail lighting can provide much more than simple ambiance. This basic utility can also impact your sales and customer experience.

A recent study from Lux suggests that in-store lighting can actually help guide customers through your store, and increase the average spend per customer: “Zumtobel claims a fashion retailer in Germany saw its sales go up by around 12% compared to another local store, after it installed a new lighting scheme specially designed to appeal to the personality profile of its target customers.”

In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.” —Aaron Rose, photographer

 So, how can you leverage your lighting design to bolster your bottom line? Let’s take a look at how you can create a lighting strategy that will work for your store and your products. 

FURTHER READING: If you’re looking for more in-store strategies to boost sales, check out our guide to visual merchandising.

Welcoming Customers: How to Create an Atmosphere

Physical aspects of your store create the overall feel of your retail experience. Light is one of the ways that retailers can create a pleasant atmosphere for their customers. How people feel when they enter your store can affect their mood, as well as how they perceive your brand and products.

In the article 6 ways to maximize your LED lighting strategy, Topco states that “chosen lighting can have a significant emotional impact, directing shoppers to key merchandise and hugely affecting how they perceive your overall business.”

To decide what kind of atmosphere you want your lighting to create, think about how you want customers to feel when they walk in your store. Warm, soft lighting can make people feel relaxed and comfortable, while brighter lighting helps customers see products more clearly, such as in the Louis Vuitton flagship store in London: Retail lighting design, Louis Vuitton | Shopify Retail blog

Image Credit: Design Curial

As in the above example, the lighting is dimmer in the walkways and the products are highlighted with bright spotlights. This lighting strategy places a visual emphasis on LV’s iconic products and draws customers immediately to shelves. 

FURTHER READING: Learn how retailers encourage sales with sight, smell and sound.

Step 1: Finding Your Fixtures

One way to create an atmosphere with your lighting strategy is through the light fixtures that you use. Select vintage fixtures, chandeliers, or dome lighting to create a more intimate feel, versus recess, track lighting, or suspended fixtures to help create more of a professional atmosphere.

Retail lighting design, lighting fixture types | Shopify Retail blogPhoto credit: Types of Lighting Fixtures for Retail Stores

Break up your space with a mixture of light fixtures in different parts of your store, like the entrance versus the changing rooms. Regardless of the fixtures you choose, match your lighting strategy to your brand identity and product offerings.

A great example of using lighting design to both create an atmosphere and reflect your branding is The Whisky Shop’s low lighting and neon wings:

Retail lighting design, The Whisky Shop | Shopify Retail blog Image Credit: Design Curial

Step 2: Choose a Temperature

One of the ways that you can create an inviting atmosphere in your store is by using a warm or cool temperature of lighting — there are benefits to both color schemes. Lux states that “Cool color temperatures such as cool white make areas appear more spacious whereas warm color temperatures create an impression of smallness and familiarity.”

So, if you have a small store that you’re trying to make feel larger, consider using cool lighting. Or, if you’re trying to invoke a sense of familiarity or nostalgia in your store then you’ll want to use warmer-toned lighting.

Types of Retail Lighting

There are several different types of retail lighting, including:

  • Ambient lighting: This refers to your store’s overall lighting concept. Ambient lighting creates the overall atmosphere in your store and has the largest impact. For example, if you had a large light fixture in the center of your store, this would create the ambient lighting in the space.
  • Accent lighting: This “spotlight” type lighting allows storefronts to draw attention to a few products. In the Louis Vuitton example above, the store uses accent lighting to highlight its luxury handbags and accessories. This technique is common in luxury stores.
  • High-activity lighting: Traditional lighting concepts often leave stores with dark corners and shadowy spots. But high-activity lighting focuses on covering the entire space with bright lights to eliminate the possibility that customers will miss any of your products.

Why Bulbs Matter: LED versus Florescent

Traditionally, brick-and-mortar locations have relied heavily on florescent lights for their stores, but recently many retailers have switched to LED lighting. LED lighting is a cost-effective, energy efficient option for your retail store. In the article Use Lighting to Make Your Retail Products Shine, proprietors from lighting store Premier Lighting state that: “While any type of lighting is useful, store owners are particularly seeing measurable benefits from using LED lights. These types of lights are bright, small, and illuminate targeted areas — all traits you need in lights intended for retail spaces.” 

So, how should you use LED lighting in your store? In the Entrepreneur article Lighting Up Your Store — and Your Sales they found that “even the best LED lights might not be the right choice for your store, says Eric Strandberg, senior lighting specialist for Seattle-based Lighting Design Lab, an education, training and consulting organization. Other options like linear fluorescent lights, for example, might be better for general lighting, while LED bulbs would be more appropriate for accent lights.”

You may need to try different types of lights in your store to see what best suits the environment that you’ve created, as well as what shows off your products in the best light. Walk through your competitor's’ stores and see how they’re lighting their products and/or test different lighting strategies in your own store to see what shows your products in the best light. Also, don’t be tied to only one type of light — many retail stores mix and match different types of lighting throughout the store to get the best of both worlds.

Retail lighting design | Shopify Retail blog Photo Credit: Zen Merchandiser

Create a Visual Hierarchy: The Benefits of Contrast

Lux suggests “Retail lighting should be high contrast, making perception easier and heightening levels of attention.” By using multiple sources of light in your retail store, you can create contrast around your products — drawing the attention of your customers towards the shelves and making it easier to see the details of the individual products.

Try creating shadows around displays and use spotlighting to highlight products on important shelves. Use strategically placed lights to point at where you want customers’ eyes to go.

 Don’t forget about lighting your store windows in a way that entices customers to enter your store: “In shop windows, use pinpoint accenting to emphasize perceived contrasts. In the evening and when there is little daylight, even low illuminance levels are sufficient.” High contrast in window displays is a great way to catch the eyes of passersby.

Product-Focused Lighting Design: The Pros of Backlighting

Not every product and display is creating equally — you can’t highlight every area of the store with contrast lighting because then there wouldn’t actually be any contrast. By using strong contrast sparingly, you can focus on drawing your customers to sales areas, new items, or high-ticket products.

For wide displays where you want to highlight a large area, instead of pinpointing a single product, try backlighting your displays. Softer backlighting is particularly effective at drawing attention to shelves that are lower to the ground and might otherwise be overlooked.

Retail lighting design, backlighting | Shopify Retail blog Photo Credit: Premier Lighting

Backlighting also works to keep customers lingering at the shelves longer as they navigate through the items on each shelf. Additionally, backlighting can be used to achieve a softer, more intimate environment, as the lack of sharp contrast is more appealing to the eye: “Wide-area backlighting of shelves produces a more attractive effect than accent lighting only.”

Moving Forward With Retail Lighting Design

Lighting is part of a larger in-store strategy for your retail business and your brand. Now you better understand that the right lighting can help boost sales and create a great customer experience for your store.

Have you tried a lighting strategy that has helped contribute to an increase in sales for your retail business? If so, tell us about it in the comments.

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Minimizing Turnover: How to Increase Retail Employee Retention Rates

Minimizing Turnover: How to Increase Retail Employee Retention Rates

Hire your first retail employee | Shopify Retail blogHiring and keeping the right employees can be hard for any business — but it’s especially difficult in an industry with naturally high turnover like retail.

Last year, Bloomberg found that turnover in the retail sector is 5% per month. And it costs almost $3,400 every time a worker leaves to find, hire, and train their replacement. In short, employee turnover costs you time and money.

Retail is a unique workforce, made up of part-time retail employees, full-time head office employees, contract distribution channel workers, and everything in between. Minimizing turnover across all these departments is important to grow your best talent and keep your operation running smoothly. Employees move on for a variety of reasons, some of which are out of your control, but minimizing employee turnover where you can is all about identifying at-risk employees and increasing overall employee retention.

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Retail for Rent: How to Negotiate a Business Lease

Retail for Rent: How to Negotiate a Business Lease

How to negotiate a business lease | Shopify Retail blogWhether you’re looking to move into your first retail space or you’ve outgrown your current space and need something larger, signing a business lease is an exciting and stressful time for any retail business.

At first glance, it may seem like costs would be the primary factor when considering rental spaces. However, there are numerous factors to keep in mind — and we'll discuss them in depth here.

    Once you’ve completed all your research and you’ve found the perfect location for your retail business, then comes the all the necessary paperwork. Negotiating a lease for your business doesn’t need to be daunting — there are just a few things to keep in mind to make the process smooth so you can stay focused on the excitement of opening your new location.

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    Signage Design: Bolster Your Sales With Strategic Visuals

    Signage Design: Bolster Your Sales With Strategic Visuals

    Signage design for retail | Shopify Retail blogIf your retail business has a brick-and-mortar location (or many), then you know how important physical signage can be. Signage is about far more than wayfinding or displaying product prices — a simple sign can help curb theft, increase revenues, and draw attention to featured inventory you’re hoping to offload. In other words, each and every sign that you create is an opportunity to communicate with potential customers about your products and your company.

    So, how do you master the art of signage design to tell your brand’s story and boost your sales in the process? Let’s examine the types of signage designs commonly used in retail stores, and further highlight their potential benefits.

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    Store Audits: What Are They And How You Can Complete One Efficiently

    Store Audits: What Are They And How You Can Complete One Efficiently

    Store audits for retail | Shopify Retail blog

    Whether your retail business operates one location or a dozen, store audits are an effective way to monitor how you're doing. From examining the effectiveness of your displays, keeping your inventory in check, ensuring you’re presenting the best possible version of your store, and verifying that inventory management tasks are completed on schedule, store audits offer deep insights into your retail business. 

    And with advancements in modern technology, store audits have taken on a new role for retail businesses, offering more insights than ever before. But for retailers that are new to store audits, the task can seem daunting. But here, we’ll cover the benefits and process of completing a store audit so it’s simpler to get it done without delay.

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    Year-End Inventory: How to Make Product Counts Less Painful

    Year-End Inventory: How to Make Product Counts Less Painful

    Year-end inventory | Shopify Retail blogThe holidays are here, and bustling seasonal sales are helping put many retailers back in the black. While many celebrations are already in full swing (we know you’re ready to pop that bottle of champagne), there’s one major task left on your annual to-do list.

    ‘Tis the season...to count your products. It’s that time of year again for year-end inventory. The time of year all retail business, big and small, need to complete inventory for year-end tax requirements and financial statements. It’s not the most glamorous way to finish off the year, but it’s something that needs to be done.

      As a retailer, you’re probably well aware of the many reasons year-end inventory is a good business practice. Now let’s take a look at how you can improve the process of physical counts.

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      Black Friday Deals: 10 Tips to Send High-Converting Holiday Sales Emails

      Black Friday Deals: 10 Tips to Send High-Converting Holiday Sales Emails

      Black Friday Cyber Monday email campaigns | Shopify RetailYear over year, Black Friday Cyber Monday continue to make Thanksgiving one of the biggest shopping events of the year, with 109 million people shopping online and another 99 million shopping in-store in 2016, according to CNN Money

      But the tides are changing — more and more Black Friday shoppers are moving from brick and mortar to online. Time reports that in 2015 shoppers spent $10.4 billion in stores, down from $11.6 billion in 2014. Meanwhile, Fortune reports that “Black Friday brought in $2.72 billion in ecommerce sales, up 14% from 2014. Thanksgiving Day saw a higher jump in online spending, with $1.73 billion in sales, up 25% from the previous year.”

      ‘Tis the season for retail sales — and that means it’s time to prep your holiday sales campaigns. Compelling email campaigns are key to driving sales and building awareness for your holiday promotions, both online and in store.

      So, what can you do to ensure you’re getting the most out of your holiday marketing efforts? We’ve consulted some experts and compiled their advice into 10 tips for sending effective sales emails for Black Friday Cyber Monday and beyond.

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      The Art of the Drop: How Retailers Flash Sales Use Hype to Move Product (and Fast)

      The Art of the Drop: How Retailers Flash Sales Use Hype to Move Product (and Fast)

      Flash sales and product drops | Shopify Retail blogWith all the retail competition out there, online and in-store, it can be challenging to cut through the noise and let customers know what you’re up to.

      Whether you have a new product launching, a big sale around the corner, or are working on a special project, you need to be able to speak to your audience and keep them up to date.

      So, how can you create buzz around your products and ensure you pique their interest? We’re going to look at two of the most popular retail trends of 2018: flash sales and much-anticipated product drops. We’ll also examine some examples of a few successful product drops to inspire you to use these strategies for your retail business.

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