Your shop window is the first thing customers see when they walk past your shop.

The window is there to entice customers to come in by giving them a sample of what you have to offer.

You need to change it as often as you expect regular customers to visit you.This is not an issue with people who do not know about you but you need to make the effort for your usual customers.

For instance, if your regular customers come to you once a month, you need to refresh the display in the window once every three to four weeks.

If they visit you once a week, make sure the window is updated twice weekly.

This ensures customers always see something new and different when they visit you.

Retail is constantly evolving and you should be tweaking and improving your shop floor and your website all the time.

However that does not mean you need to makes changes without thinking.

Before any change, you need to ask yourself:

  • why are we changing this?
  • what are we hoping to achieve?
  • how will we know it was the right decision?

Change for the sake of change is not clever business.

Psychologist Daniel Kahneman “It is the consistency of the information that matters for a good story, not its completeness”. The more information you add, the more you risk of having information that does not fit the initial “story”.

So when selling to a customer, make sure you explain everything they need to know but try avoiding going too far as you risk making the decision more difficult to make.

There are big differences in the way men and women shop.

One of them is that men usually have an idea as to what they want. They come to the shop like someone on a mission, grab the stuff and then leave.

However men usually struggle when they buy for someone else (say a present for a significant other or children). In that case they will need recommendations and suggestions and this is when you can really do your sales job.

You have items sitting on your shelves and in your storeroom which have been there for years. This is dead stock. Please note even the best run companies have about 20 to 30% of their inventory as dead stock.

It is easy to dismiss those items as just filling space (which can be useful sometimes) but they cost a lot more than you think:

  • warehousing. If you are large enough to have a warehouse, you know the value of each square meter of space. If it is filled with stock you do not sell, you are wasting money.
  • cost of money. You have paid for this stock and you may have had to borrow to buy other stock. Which means this dead stock comes with interest…
  • shelf space. Your dead stock is taking the shelf space of items which could sell a lot faster. Maybe your dead stock is in prime space in your shop.
  • insurance. Your dead stock is still valued and as such you are paying more insurance because of it.
  • discount. You may have to discount the stock to get rid of it, which usually means selling it at below cost price.
  • admin cost. The more dead stock you have, the more time you spend counting it, moving it, inventoring it, etc… All this equates to a lot of time for no end result.




For the past few months, a supermarket has been sending me offers of loyalty points if I spend a certain amount in store within a few days.

However, the offer only works if I activate it first by clicking on a link in an email.

Why? This is cumbersome and not really practical. On top of this, what benefit do I get from it? None, as I am already aware of the offer.

What benefit do they get out of it? None, as I am already in their database and enrolled in the loyalty scheme.

If you make offers to your customers make sure they are simple and straightforward. No point in requesting additional steps if they do not bring any benefit to anyone.


Nowadays customers are used to browse online catalogues. They use their tablets and phones to gather information before making a purchase.

This is true even if you cater for a local customer base.

In order to make sure they commit and do not simply take a chance when seeing a product they like on your website and hope you will still have it next time they are visiting you, make sure you offer click and collect.

It also helps your inventory and cashflow as payment is taken at the time of order even if they collect days later.

A website can be many things: a catalogue, an entertainment platform, an information resource, … The list can go on and on.

However I would like to propose a simpler definition: the purpose of your website is to transform strangers into friends. And to convert friends into customers.

Is your website fulfilling these two goals?

More than half of the Internet traffic to websites now comes from mobile devices (phones and tablets).

More and more people rely on their mobile phone to quickly check availability or prices.

You need to make sure your website can be used on these devices.

Please note people tend to browse for information however most purchases still happen from a desktop or laptop computer.

Customers are proud of what they build themselves. This goes for essentials such as a flat-packed bed or bookcase and is also true for non-essentials such as plastic model kits.

Having to put some effort to get a finished item adds to the perceived value for the person who built it.

You can benefit from this bias by offering items which have to be put together by the customer. Everytime they look at or use the item, they will value it more than if they had not build it themselves.

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