Once you've got your shoe and clothing retail business up and running, it's time to develop the business to its full potential. Whether you sell snazzy shoes and shirts online or cozy slippers and pajamas in your own boutique, developing the business and helping it reach its potential is a secret to success.
Analyze which shoes and clothes have sold well and which had to be marked down to move. Look at styles, colors and sizes. Keep track of which months had the best sales for which merchandise. You may find that some essentials sold well all year long while trendy togs were hit and miss. Retail sales are highest during the holidays. If you don't deduct returns that happen in January from your November and December sold inventory, you won't get a realistic idea of your sales.
Keep track of who shops in your store by asking staff to keep a tally. If you have an online store, offer the customer a small discount if they'll complete a short questionnaire online. Ask customers what they'd like to see in your store and to evaluate the courtesy of your staff, or how easy it is -- or isn't -- to order online. Your goal is to serve your current customers better and find ways to interest new customers to shop with you.
Change up your product mix to reflect what customers want. Increase your orders of the shoes and clothes that sold the best and decrease your orders of what didn't work. Consider adding complementary lines of clothing. For example, if you sell shorts and t-shirts, add some colorful inexpensive flip flops for impulse purchases. Another way to increase sales is to offer accessories such as jewelry, hair ornaments and hats.
Display full outfits to show customers how to put clothing together. Your customer might not have bought the shoes to go with that top and pants she picked out if she hadn't seen how the items work together. Another way to display clothing is by color and then size. Check the lighting in the store so all areas are well lit. Change the displays on a regular basis. Your customer who comes in often might not think you've received new merchandise if the store always looks the same.
Revise your website so it reflects how you want the business to develop. For example, if you carried sportswear and have added fashionable footwear, update the photos and descriptions. Ask customers to friend and follow your social media sites. Promise them special discounts and that they'll be the first to know about new merchandise. Revamp your advertising campaign to reflect the changes you've made. Customers are attracted to stores that frequently add new merchandise and announce it through the media -- particularly if you offer special discounts and promotions.