In retail line or in any other businesses, nobody would want to lose their customers for the simple fact that customers are their business’ lifelines; if a business is not able to attract any customers, it will never survive.
Ironically, most retailers today, in fact, have been losing customers “unintentionally” everyday without knowing the reasons why.
Here are the common signs you that might see in many retail outlets, that are “unknowingly” and “quietly”, driving potential customers away.
Sign #1. Do Not Touch!
Do not touch this product! Do not touch the dress on the mannequin! Why are you commanding your prospects that may give you business anytime. Why are you telling them with your signs not to touch the things in your shop? Subconsciously, prospects may feel turned off when they see the negative words and signs on your retail display. Since you do not wish your potential buyers to touch your products, they will go somewhere else to touch and buy other products then.
Sign #2 No Credit Cards / No American Express
By not accepting credit cards or American Express in your retail outlet; you are again, stopping your prospects to buy from you, by adding barriers to buying. Some retail owners will make the excuse that they do not want to pay a fee on maintaining credit cards or Amex terminals, hence it would be better if they keep all the profits themselves. However, by adding barriers to buying, it actually reduces the convenience of buying from you, and therefore, your business would lose some more customers as a result.
Sign #3 Shoplifters Will be Persecuted. CCTV is Monitoring You, Now!
Your neighborhood police force may thank you for being a vigilant civilian crime fighter. By putting up this sign on your shop, you may stop potential shoplifting from happening; at the same time, you are also causing people to hate your brand to the core. Why? Because the moment when they stepped into your store, the sign is telling them that they are potential criminals and they would be persecuted should they commit shoplifting; customers may subconsciously think that you do not have the trust in them. If there is no trust between you and your customers, no one would want to buy your products and your business profits will sure to decline.
Sign #4 No Photography
Some retail owners are afraid that competitors that dressed up like customers might steal their business concepts, product information and shop designs away. Hence, they will put up a big sign on their shop, saying “No Photograpy.” Paranoid thinking kills the entrepreneur. Since your shop is already opening up for business, you should have nothing to hide.
I remember hearing this story from one of my friends who is a food blogger. One day, he went to a Japanese restaurant for lunch; by looking at the beautiful food display of the tasty gourmet dishes on the table, he took out his iPhone to snap a few shots on the food; wanting to put up a blog post about the restaurant afterwards. However, my friend was warned, by probably the restaurant owner, that no photography is allowed. Well, my friend obeyed the warning and he also put up an ultra negative review about his dining experience that day, and he tweeted it to thousands of his followers. The restaurant not only lose a potential customer, it also incur tons of negative word-of-mouth marketing on the internet.
It is very easy to lose a customer willingly or unwillingly but it is super difficult and time consuming to win back an upset customer and all of his friends.
Sign #5 Once Broken, Considered Sold
This sign actually indirectly tells the prospects that they are stupid and clumsy and that is why, they might accidentally break your product. This is another common sign that contributes greatly in firing at your customers unintentionally.
Our subconscious mind is a very funny and complex thing. The moment we see something negative, the voice in our head, will tell us that it is a very bad impression, leading us to reject a decision. Likewise, if we are shown something positive and beautiful, our subconscious mind will project to us a very bright and great impression, leading us to make the buying decision unintentionally as well.
Hence, if possible or perhaps you should be, removing all those negative words and signs in your shop, marketing brochures, websites and such; so that you can communicate positively with your prospects’ subconscious minds and making them buy your products willingly.