Most retail businesses often focus on the digital aspect of their business, which is the most prominent form of commerce nowadays. However, this doesn’t mean that a brick-and-mortar location is obsolete. Experts predict a potential resurgence in face-to-face commerce due to the social isolation the pandemic has put us all in.
Businesses looking to take advantage of this should start preparing as early as now to increase their chances of harnessing the influx of shoppers. Creating a brick-and-mortar shop can be daunting for companies whose entire platform has primarily been online, but it’s still a worthy investment.
Being that it’s an investment, it’s critical to factor in the importance of location when deciding on your shop. Let’s take a look at what you need to consider when looking for the best space for your brick-and-mortar store.
Your retail shop will need to be seen for you to garner customers. Unless one of your unique selling factors is that your shop is a “hidden gem,” most shops would want to be in a place that has a lot of foot traffic. This is why many shops are often situated next to each other in a busy shopping district. This ensures visibility for you and convenience for the shoppers. Because if you put yourself in the shoppers’ shoes, you’d want to be able to shop seamlessly instead of having to go to different locations for various needs.
You’d also need to consider the shop’s accessibility to you and your employees, as well as vendors and other businesses you’d need to interact with for your shop. If the space is at an awkward location, it might pose a problem in the future when deliveries and services find it difficult to reach you. In addition, think about parking space and if there is enough for your customers and others. People appreciate being able to go in and out easily, especially in retail.
Being in a commercial location means being surrounded by competing businesses and other related establishments. It’s not a particularly negative thing since more options are good for your clients.
However, you have to factor in competition when looking for a location. You don’t want to be in a place where it’s oversaturated with businesses in your industry. But if there are various kinds of establishments, it gives more initiative to potential clients as they will find it convenient to go to your location. They’ll be able to get other things they need, alongside what they’ll buy from you.
Your Target Market
In relevance to the location you will pick, your target customers will also affect your choice. A luxury clothes shop will find it hard to attract customers in a line of thrift shops, and a coffee shop along a road that’s busiest on late afternoons as people go on their way home won’t catch a lot of patrons either.
This can either make or break your decisions. Your location might see a lot of foot traffic, but unless the people walking there are interested in your services, then it’s all moot. Always think of how the people will receive your business within that specific area and if they’re in your target market.
Another critical factor is how accessible it is for utilities and other essential services. Of course, it’s a given that it will have running water, electricity, and similar things, but you also need to factor in internet connection, telephone connections, or even postal service. Businesses need to factor in whether the reliability and overall quality of the service providers in that area are good since there’s very little reason to get a sub-par one, especially if it can affect your operations.
Finally, when setting up a shop, don’t overlook your budget and assume that moving in won’t take as much from your capital. In most cases, you’d have to renovate and customize the space to suit your business needs, which means spending for construction and possibly even renting a mini garbage bin.
On top of that, the rental fee should also be an amount you can pay up to at least three months in advance. Ask about other costs too, like parking and maintenance. It’s easy to go over budget, especially during your first few months, but that’s just why you need to be careful with planning even more.
In-store transactions aren’t likely to go away, despite the popularity of online shopping. And for businesses with brick-and-mortar aspirations, making sure your location is a prime spot is vital to success. Just like with many other business decisions, this one takes care and planning.