Finishing touches

by Glen Peloso & Jamie Alexander

Shopping can be done in so many ways now. In order to make your retail space worth going back to, you need to have just a little bit more or create a fantastic shopping experience. All of the finishing touches make your store a place that customers want to return to, not only for the product but also for the entire shopping experience. Here are some simple things you can do to make your store stand out from the pack!

Labels that are created to speak to your customers or are exclusive to your store make customers feel like you have selected and dealt with each item individually. Writing the name of the item along with the price gives you a chance to personalize the item and add a “little touch of you” to the items available in the store.  Enhance the experience of shopping and you enhance the customer experience.

Personalized sustainable shopping bags are a great way to make people feel like they have gotten a little something for free from your shop and the bags will advertise for you when they are used again. Packaging and unwrapping the purchase is part of the experience of getting something cherished. It not only tells the clients that you care about them, but that you also care about the product you select for your retail store. The bags may increase the cost of goods sold, but you will also increase the number of goods sold if the customer experience is pleasant.

Handmade and one of a kind – this may not be the bulk of your business, but it will keep people coming back to see you again and again. While you are shopping for product for your store, keep your eyes peeled for items that can be specific to you. They can be anything from soaps to greeting cards, carvings to fabrics and once it's gone, it’s gone. Anything you can do to make your store individual and specific to you, the better off you are.

Host your customers. Being able to offer your clients a glass of sparkling water, fruit infused water or herbal tea is a relatively simple and inexpensive to do, and pays you back in spades. Clients feel as though you are "hosting” them in your space and sharing your "finds."  Not only will they enjoy the shopping experience but they will also treat your goods with more respect, as a guest.

There is something very special about being thanked for your patronage. When you or your staff can genuinely thank a customer for shopping with you, it goes a long way. We love the idea of a greeting card or postcard that thanks customers for supporting your small business. Customers not only get the goods they need but they also get to feel great about giving to the community and supporting you.

Co-founders and principals of design firm Peloso Alexander Interiors, Glen and Jamie are frequent TV guests, having been seen on the Marilyn Denis Show, Global Morning News, Breakfast Television Toronto, HGTV and the Food Network. Both designers, along with their firm’s work, have been featured in print — Glen writes a regular design column for the Toronto Star, while Jamie contributes biweekly to the Toronto Sun.

Glen and Jamie have a combined 40 years of experience in both residential and commercial interior design projects throughout North America. They maintain a retail boutique and design firm in the King East Design District of downtown Toronto.

Peloso Alexander Interiors