Running a resale store is a great way to give back to your community. There are, however, a number of peculiarities to this retail model that present a challenge. Software Advice, a company that reviews retail software programs, hears from a lot of retailers that are thinking of opening a store or currently running a resale operation. To assist these retailers in dealing with their challenges, Software Advice has put together five key insights they believe lead a great resale store. Below is a summary of their recommendations:
#1 Do your research and run the store like a business – Kate Holmes, resale and consignment store expert and owner of Too Good to Be Threw, thinks an area that many store owners can work on is treating the store more like a business. This might sound obvious, but is often overlooked. Running your store more like a business means that you need to conduct vigorous research on how to effectively price and the best hours to be open for business.
#2 Focus your image on the community’s values - One of the differentiators between a resale store and other retail operations is that it receives its goods from community donations or sales. It is therefore important to mold the store’s brand around the community it serves. For example, your brand should be different if you serve college students versus a community made up of single families.
#3 Market through the channels that your customers use – It is important to use multiple marketing channels to reach customers. Whether through Facebook, Twitter, email newsletters, or traditional print marketing, you need to focus your marketing efforts on the channels that your customers use. A store that serves older women may want to focus its efforts on newsletters and e-mails, while a store that has mostly younger customers may want to invest in its social media presence.
#4 Lean on other store owners - Cathy Yeomans, President of the Rochester Area Consignment Shops believes one best tips to success is to band together with similar store owners in your area. Through these relationships, you will be able to share valuable ideas, marketing resources and potentially customers! Do not be afraid of sharing your insights with people you may think of as compeition; the benefits will far out-weight the costs. A fantastic example of this is the relationship of STARS in Texas and Atlanta Consignment Shops in Atlanta.
#5 Technology solutions – Kate Holmes put it best when she said, “Managing the books isn’t going to make you money. You need to invest in finding the right solution.” For some, that means adopting consignment-specific software solutions, but what’s really important is finding the solution that matches your work flow so you can focus on running your store and serving your customers. Consignment specific options, such as Furnishly, may proved incredibly beneficial to your bottom-line.