Opening a second physical store has a lot of things involved: not just select and decorate a new retail location but also hire new employees, manage inventory across stores, and especially attract new customers for all of your stores. We’ve put together 6 things to think about when you have more than one physical store, so you can prepare better to achieve success with the second store as you did with your first one.
Customers nowadays usually search online for a business, so it’s very important to have all your business information, including your locations, opening hours and phone number available online, both on your website and social channels such as Facebook.
And it’s essential for you to create a Google Business Listing for your business. When a customer searches for your business, they will have a map with all of your locations. It’s easy for them to know where to find you and locate the nearest store.
Integrated Retail System
If you have multiple stores, it’s strongly recommended that you set up an integrated retail system that can help you manage sales and inventory across sales channels in one place. An integrated retail system create a seamless information flow among the online store (website), retail stores (POS), warehouses (inventory management software) and customer app. It enables you to accept and fulfill orders from anywhere, so customers have more purchase options: purchase directly online or at store, order online and pick up at a selected retail location, or place an online order while still being at the store.
For store owners like you, you can access reports anywhere to know the performance of your business as well as each location. You can focus more on what makes money for you and make necessary improvements.
Inventory management is a major cost in retail; it even can make or break a business. When you run multiple stores, you need to be careful because additional stores require more inventory, which means more cost.
It’s important for you to invest in a good inventory management system that can help you create warehouses, manage and track stock across all locations, transfer stocks and place purchase orders smoothly. This inventory management system needs to be integrated into your current system so that it can synchronize and update inventory in real time on all channels. You will be alerted if the stock level of any item goes low so you can purchase more in time or transfer stock from another warehouse to avoid running out of stock.
Some inventory management solutions can be integrated with POS like Embedded ERP and ConnectPOS, allowing store associates to easily check stock levels at all stores directly from POS so they can point customers looking for a particular product to the right location.
You can’t be at multiple stores at the same time to manage every detail so it’s recommended that you hold periodical meetings with your staff. In these meetings, you can introduce new products or policies, discuss changes and check in on employee morale. You want to make sure that every store follows the same business practices and your staff have the same understanding of products and policies to create consistency among retail locations and leave a good impression on customers.
Communication and transparency are key. You want to communicate clearly with your stores and also make sure they communicate with each other. A lack of communication amongst locations can create unhealthy competition that is detrimental to your business.