The concept of Self-Care is a big buzzword right now in our culture and in our business. It can mean any number of things, but for those of us in the retail / wholesale space, it means that there is a need that we have to serve.
People are tired, they have too many stresses, a 24 hour news cycle that tells them bad news, and a social media feed that often shows them pictures of perfection. You can help combat that and make your store a place where people can get away from it all! Here are some guidelines from the trenches!
- Come from a genuine place. There’s nothing worse then slapping a self-care sticker on everything just to go along with a trend. Really look to make your store a place where your customer can relax and recharge. Read up on the origins of the movement, you’ll be much better informed and able to make decisions. Part of this movement is anti-consumerist, so it's best to tread carefully.
- Repurpose what you already have. The self-care concept is so broad that many things beyond the obvious, can be self care. Is taking time to find an outfit for yourself self-care? It can be! We view our candles in the self-care category because they are thoughtfully put together with the specific aim to help people change their surroundings with a pleasant scent. Candles are also closely associated with ritual - as in a nighttime ritual, a bathtubs ritual etc. Many products and experiences can be a form of self-care.
- Make it easy for your customer. Most people, especially women, know about this idea. They know self-care is important, and they know they need to take time for it, but life often gets in the way. When merchandising, think about how to make it easier for your customer to buy something and feel really good about it, as an investment in themselves. Things like self-care kits and baskets are big sellers for a reason. People want the easy solution!
- Make everything about the shopping experience a treat. Try and think of everything your customer encounters, as they walk in. Below is a list of questions that would be helpful for you to go through.
- Does it smell nice?
- What is the lighting like?
- Is the store pleasant and easily organized with lots of “breathing room”? If your style is more traditional, get inspired by stores like this, and notice how artfully everything is arranged, and how important flowers and plants are!
- Is the wall decor cohesive or haphazard?
- Are your sales people friendly and discreet or pushy and loud?
- Are the prices and promotions easy to understand or does the customer have to do a lot of mental math?
- Is there a nice fitting area, with plenty of knobs inside for hanging purses and shopping bags?
- Could you offer them a bottle of water or tea?
- Are there little samples or freebies you could put into each purchase to make your customer feel special?
- Is your packaging / shopping bag special? Take note of the brand Glossier which is very popular, and always sends their product with their signature pink bubble wrap. We also think of every candle purchase as a gift to the customer, and it helps guide a lot of decision making!
Some of these ideas or tips may seem small and not all that significant, but they can go a long way in setting your store apart. You can go from being a place to run in and grab a blouse, to a place where customers want to come and spend time on their own. And the longer they stay in the store, the more likely they will buy something, so think of all these things as an investment, if your own brand!
Thanks for reading!
photo II Kristen Kay Photography
featured store: Intro Boutique