Clothing boutiques tend to operate on very tight margins. Between leasing a storefront, paying for inventory and wages, and putting a little aside to grow and expand, there’s not a lot of revenue leftover for anything else. In order to thrive — and not just survive — store owners need to be creative.
The best approach involves a combination of driving more sales while also growing profit margins. Sounds complex, but there are simple ways to take on both challenges.
Want to improve your clothing store revenue starting today? Here are some helpful tips:
Expand Operating Hours
The first question to ask yourself is “do other businesses in our immediate vicinity have customers when we aren’t open?” If neighboring stores are drawing traffic after you’ve closed up shop for the night, consider staying open later to collect up foot traffic.
Expanding your online presence is another way of extending operation hours 24/7 without having to sit behind the counter longer.
Tighten Up Audience Segmentation
You already have a pretty good idea of what products sell the best. The important question every marketer needs to ask is: “why is that?”
Big companies have more liberty to offer a wide range of products for anyone and everyone. Limited floor space and smaller budgets mean that boutique clothing stores don’t have that option. If one style or demographic is driving your sales, it might be time to double down and specialize in that market.
Understand what markets you are currently tapped into and break them down into audience segments. Use data generated from sales to build an in-depth profile of what your customer wants and enjoys, then use that persona to inform marketing, purchasing, and growth strategies.
In time, you can use this information to inform your plans for expansion. Understanding your audience segment will let you know which new products will fit their needs and expectations (and which ones likely won’t.)
Expand Marketing and Advertising
Once you have a target audience established, the next challenge is finding effective tactics to turn them into customers.
First, consider your company branding from top to bottom. Does your signage reflect the kind of brand you want to be? How does your website read for new visitors on your page — is it age appropriate? Are your images clear and well edited?
Take a step away and see if your image aligns with your target market. Maybe even ask a few design-savvy friends and regular customers to get impartial, third-party insights.
Once your branding is tight, it’s time to revamp your advertising. Most small to mid-size boutiques can’t afford the investment needed for TV commercials or billboard ads. But that doesn’t mean advertising is out of the question.
Some of the more affordable advertising tactics available to clothing retailers comes from social media. Paid social media campaigns help put your branding and products in front of a wide audiences, each precisely targeted to meet your needs. Paid campaigns can be run on a tight budget to drive website traffic or build out your social media audience. Each platform now features a paid advertising interface that makes setting up and deploying campaigns easy for anyone.
Explore New Partnerships
Co-branding partnerships with other businesses offer a valuable approach that you can use to broaden your appeal to new audiences.
Social media is especially valuable for making connections with other popular businesses, especially hip local restaurants and cafes that tend to generate a lot of interest on social platforms. Sponsor a giveaway with like-minded boutiques to generate interest or donate a percentage of your sales to a local charity.
Vendor partnerships are another thing to consider as you look for ways to improve revenue. A lot of companies will stop looking for new vendors once they have one locked in — usually to their own detriment. Partnering with an organization like Talus for retail store payment processing can get you a better rate on each purchase — money that helps support your bottom line.
Clothing stores can also host fashion events locally with brand partners to help generate interest. Local bands, pet adoption events, or food trucks — all help bring people to your store.
Standing out isn’t always easy for small clothing stores. Between competition from national chains and online retailers, it can be difficult to attract attention. Shop owners who use the resources available to them in creative ways will have an advantage when it comes to driving sales.