Does Your Shop Pop?

Put your shop to the test, and learn ways to bring more excitement into your retail environment.

1 Pick the statement that best describes your store.
My store is a destination for my customers. I am continually hosting special events, serving food or just talking to my customers. They tell me they want to come in because it is a fun place to be. 
B. My store is very practical. Customers come in to get what they need; easy in, easy out. 

2 Pick the statement that best describes your store.
My store is very straightforward. Customers can tell from the sidewalk exactly what they will find inside and exactly what is going on. 
B. My store is multilayered. Customers are engaged by the interesting window displays and view from the outside, then they are drawn in to a variety of unexpected sights, sounds, displays and products. 

3 Pick the statement that best describes your store.
My store has soul. I am excited to go to work most days, and my employees feel the same. Our customers comment on the positive, festive atmosphere they find inside our door. 
B. I focus on function. If I want to build an electric atmosphere, I will construct it with music or design; it isn’t something that “just happens.”

4 Pick the statement that best describes your store.
I want my store to be organized. I am always looking for the best way to display more merchandise in a neat fashion in the same place. 
B. I want my store to allow for synchronicity. I am always looking for ways to let my customers discover my store and its merchandise during their visit. 

5 Pick the statement that best describes your store.
My store has a vision and a mission that go beyond simply selling products. We focus on a bigger picture. 
B. We’re a store; we sell things. Isn’t that the mission of a retail establishment? 

6 Pick the statement that best describes your store.
  Customers are looking for the lowest price. I can spark an increase in sales by lowering the numbers on the price tags. 
B. Customers are looking for value. I can increase sales by helping customers understand why they are getting a great product for the amount of money they are spending. 

7 Pick the statement that best describes your store.
  My store is all about openness. We never know who might be our next big sale, so we open our doors wide to make welcome everyone who wants to share in the experience we create. 
B. My store is exclusive. The customers who feel comfortable here know that they are part of a very select group of shoppers, kind of like a private club.

Retailers’ answer key

1 POP answer: A
Bravo! Your shop pops through building intense customer involvement and interaction. You have transformed your store from a place simply to buy products to one that is a true customer experience. You engage customers’ senses with delicious smells, good food, great music, interesting conversation and/or the tactile experience of touching and interacting with the products. You don’t just invite people into the shop; you want them to become involved. 
If you answered B ...
It is good that you make your shop accessible and easy for your customers to get in and find what they want. But research study after research study has found that the longer shoppers stay in the store, the more they are likely to buy and to spend. Further, the more they touch, feel and interact with merchandise in the store, the more likely they are to make purchases. So in order to make your shop a true destination, you need to find ways to increase customer involvement and interaction. Ideas and suggestions of how to do that can be found in Chapter 8 of Shopping: Why We Love It and How Retailers Can Create the Ultimate Customer Experience.

2 If you answered A ...
It is good that people understand your store and what kind of merchandise they can find in your store, but you are missing a HUGE opportunity by not leaving more to the shoppers’ imagination. Curiosity is a powerful motivator for shoppers. It is what draws them into the store, pulls them down the aisle and makes them turn the corner. Instead of laying it all out for them, you need to put some surprises into your store to excite them today and bring them back for more surprises in the future. For ways to enhance curiosity in your store, see Chapter 9 of Shopping. 
POP answer: B
Bravo! Your shop pops by evoking curiosity in your shoppers. You customers have come to expect the unexpected when visiting your store. That is why they visit and visit often, to see what is new, what is fun and what is happening in your store. They never know what they will find from visit to visit, and that is what compels them to stop by regularly and frequently. You continually change your store by tweaking products, promotions, music or displays. That is what builds curiosity and makes shopping in your store a true experience. 

3 POP answer: A
Bravo! Your shop pops by creating a contagious, electric quality. In other words, it has soul. Customers feel the excitement and electricity from being in your store whenever they visit. The electricity results naturally from the enthusiasm that you and all of your employees feel simply by being in the store and offering such a wonderful shopping experience to the customers. If any of your staff don’t live up to that level of excitement and don’t have the spirit, but bring the feeling down, then they don’t have a place on the payroll. Only passionate, upbeat, enthusiastic and caring people work in your store.  
If you answered B ...
Good, but you need more excitement and electricity flowing directly from you and your staff to the customers. Creating a more vibrant atmosphere in the store takes more than pumping up the music or designing displays. A shop that pops has a kinetic quality that arises organically from the people, both the staff and customers, in the store. It is the dynamic energy that results from excited, passionate people interacting with each other. Chapter 10 in Shopping will help you get ideas to pump up the electricity in your store.

4 If you answered A ...
It is good that you have a neat, well-organized store, but that isn’t enough to make your shop pop for customers. You need to use the physical elements that make up your store—the merchandise offered and the way it is displayed and organized for sale—to stimulate the customers emotionally to buy. You can learn about ways to use the physical design and makeup of your shop to powerfully influence customers on an emotional level in Chapter 11 of Shopping. 
POP answer: B
Bravo! Your shop pops by creating a convergence in atmosphere, store design and merchandise that creates an exciting experience for the shoppers. “Expect the unexpected” is the motto for your shop. In your store, customers don’t find cookie-cutter organization or displays; rather, they are continually happening on surprises that satisfy desires they didn’t know they had. There is a surprise around every corner, which only stimulates them more to experience more of the store today and visit again tomorrow.

5 POP answer: A
Bravo! Your shop pops because your store is more than just a place to buy “stuff.” The concept behind your store is bigger than just being a retailer. You have a mission in your store. It aims at a higher purpose than just selling goods. You see your business and your relationship with your customers as more than just a business relationship. You are looking out for the good of your customers, and one of the ways you do that is by selling them products than help them satisfy their longings.  
If you answered B ...
Right, the mission of a store is to sell stuff, but to make a real impact on your customers, you need to think in bigger terms. Ultimately, you need to find a concept that propels your store into the future. For example, the owner of a fashion boutique profiled in Chapter 7 of Shopping sees her business not as simply providing her customers clothes. Rather she delivers a much more profound experience to her customers. She helps her customers discover their personal style. In other words, her business is personal transformation, not selling clothes. You can also get more ideas about how to develop an authentic concept for your store in Chapter 12 of Shopping.

6 If you answered A ...
True, customers are looking for good prices, but finding low prices is hardly the most important reason why people buy. The fact is, using low prices as your primary competitive strategy is terribly weak because some other store right around the corner can offer virtually the same merchandise for less. To make your shop pop, you have to use more than just low prices to entice shoppers into your store. You need to focus on delivering the ultimate value to your customers, and people know that true value isn’t cheap. For ways to develop a price/value model for your store that can be a true competitive advantage, see Chapter 13 of Shopping.
POP answer: B
Bravo! Your shop pops because you focus on the value side of the price/value equation. You know your customers look first at the value you offer in your store, then decide if the price you ask for an item is fair. You recognize that price can’t be the reason why people shop in your store. You give shoppers other reasons to shop rather than just a promise of cheap. At the same time, your customers know you are fair and that you strive to give them the best value for their money. They trust you and know you are looking out for their pocketbooks, as well as your own.

7 POP answer: A
Bravo! Your shop pops because you welcome all kinds of shoppers. Your store is highly accessible, nonexclusive and totally free from pretension. The most important message your store sends to customers is, “You are welcome here and we are delighted that you chose to spend some time visiting with us.” You recognize that every shopper in your store should be treated like you would treat a guest in your home. You make customers feel comfortable and at home, so your store is a truly nice place for everyone to visit.   
If you answered B ...
It is good that you have group of customers who feel that they belong in your store, but how can you possibly grow your clientele if you don’t make newcomers feel welcome? You need to fight exclusivity to make your store accessible to a wide audience. Chapter 14 in Shopping addresses how you can make your shop an even more accessible, welcoming environment for your guests.

Copyright © Unity Marketing, 2007, from Shopping: Why We Love It and How Retailers Can Create the Ultimate Customer Experience. To order, click here. For more information, visit

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