A well-maintained, clean, attractive sales floor is one of the most crucial aspects of excelling in the retail business. Many people will not spend their time and hard-earned cash in a dirty and unpleasant store. The physical appearance and general atmosphere of a store give customers a general idea about the quality of the products being sold. It is, therefore, crucial for store owners and managers to invest a lot of time and resources into store upkeep and maintenance.
Most people would agree that a dirty store will not attract any customers. But what if your once tidy and neat store, which used to be the heartbeat of the neighborhood, starts deteriorating and becoming messy? Will your customers notice the difference? The answer is a simple yes. Your customers will notice the difference and they will head to a cleaner and more organized competitor. It is therefore important to ensure that your employees avoid having dirty fitting rooms and stinky bathrooms in your store. This will greatly improve the customer retail experience.
By now we have established that store maintenance is important. It has a direct effect on both customer retention and new customer acquisition. You should also realize that what’s most important in your store maintenance program varies from business to business. For instance, there are things that a startup should prioritize that might not be so important to an established business. A startup is probably going to be more focused on new customer acquisition while an established brand has its focus on customer retention.
In this text, we will dive deep and check out what you should do to properly maintain your store, and why those things are important for getting and keeping customers.
Maintenance Goes Beyond Keeping the Sales Floor Clean
When people think what is store maintenance, cleaning is probably the first thing that comes to mind. It is very important to keep your sales floor sparkling clean. However, it is also crucial to understand that store maintenance is more than the vacuum-and-dust level of upkeep. Maintaining your store also involves dealing with lighting, signage, proper inventory management, and things like air quality. Store owners and retail managers should not get carried away to the extent that they only focus on cleaner toilets and polished floors. There are a lot of other subtle and important pieces of the puzzle.
There have been studies that looked at the link between the overall store atmosphere and customer purchase intention. It was found that a lot of factors, some of them including music, scent, lighting, temperature, etc. all impact the customers’ willingness to buy something. When a customer feels that the environment is on point, and they are comfortable, they are likely going to spend more money than if they were in a hurry to get out because of filth and offensive odors. A more pleasant environment, besides just being pleasant, is associated with high-quality goods. This will reflect positively on the image of the store as well.
Clean Those Shelves
You can not answer the question what is store maintenance without talking about cleanliness. The stores in your shop need to be kept clean. After all, that’s where customers spend most of their time picking and checking out products. Horizontal surfaces are magnets for dust, and without regular cleaning, it will quickly accumulate. Do you have a schedule for deep-cleaning all your shelves and keep them wiped-down daily for ongoing maintenance? If not, you should.
Remove Damaged and Out-of-Date Goods
Removing damaged and expired goods is a huge part of what is store maintenance. It’s easy to double-check and sort goods on shelves as you clean the shelves in your store. This is the perfect time to look for and replace damaged and out-of-date goods. Customers might think that you are trying to trick them into buying expired goods, and that won’t give your store a good picture.
Maintaining Good Indoor Air Quality
Reassuring shoppers they are breathing healthy air when they come to your store is crucial. Healthier air means an increased flow of essential elements while also removing undesired particles from the air. Through the correct combination of proper ventilation, air temperature, and filtration, healthier indoor air quality can be achieved.
Installing commercial air conditioners is also one of the simpler ways to make the air in a store healthier, safer, and cleaner. This can help limit the spread of pollutants and contagious pathogens. Store owners should therefore invest in commercial HVAC installation services on commercial property.
In addition to good HVAC, store owners can also look at technologies like air cleaners. An air cleaner uses an electric charge to eliminate impurities from the air. It’s also important to install a humidity sensor. Ideally, you want to keep the air in a retail space not too dry or humid but somewhere in between.
Humidity is important for lowering the spread of airborne diseases. Bacteria and mold prefer very humid conditions. Dry air has its problems as well. If the air is too dry, customers can experience upper respiratory irritations.
We cannot overemphasize the importance of plumbing in a commercial setting. Plumbing is a big part of what is store maintenance. You need a properly functioning plumbing system to keep the doors of your store open. Your customers will want to use the toilets and you don’t want them to get in there and witness a mess. The state of your plumbing can therefore make or break your business.
To avoid unnecessary setbacks, it’s important to hire commercial plumbing services and ensure that your plumbing is well maintained. Your plumbing system needs to be monitored and regularly serviced, so you can not only avoid problems but spot them before they develop.
Interior and Exterior Store Cleanliness
For customers to consider coming to your store and keep coming back, your storefront exterior and even the sidewalks have to be clean. Answering the question of what is store maintenance involves addressing the outdoors, too. Even from the streets, customers can notice moldy walls, dirty awnings, and rust stains, You don’t want them seeing all that. By hiring a commercial pressure washing company regularly, you can keep your walls and sidewalks clean and presentable.
With pressure washing, you can easily kill, dissolve and remove mold. It’s also good for blasting away gum spots and removing those orange rust stains left by sprinklers. Many people are using pressure washing to clean windows, doors, and painted surfaces too.
Commercial Roof Maintenance
A roof is the most important part of any structure. Keeping it in excellent condition should therefore be a priority so you can prolong its life and avoid having to replace it frequently. Addressing what is store maintenance would not be complete without roof maintenance. Properly maintaining your roof will not only save you a lot of money as a store owner but will help you avoid embarrassment. Imagine how customers would perceive your brand if your roof started leaking as they shop in your store.
If you notice any leaks, contact the roof repair service as soon as possible. A seeping roof is very dangerous, and the cost of repairing it can be significant. If neglected, a leaky roof could cause electrical damage, product damage, or worse—the entire roof might collapse.
To avoid the drama that comes with leaky roofs, it’s important to ensure that a commercial roofing company regularly inspects your roof. They can spot these problems from miles away and help you deal with them before they even occur.
Make An Entrance
When answering what is store maintenance, understand that store maintenance is not all about fixing things and cleaning. The appearance of your store from both the outside and inside is also equally critical. As a retail store, one of your goals is to get as many customers through the door as possible. One way to do this is to focus on spectacular entrances and window displays. This will capture the attention of passing potential customers and tempt them to explore your shop and find out more.
Steel windows are becoming increasingly popular on storefronts nowadays. A steel wire mesh can be used in the windows and the interior to create an urban environment for your shop. To find out your options, you can check out commercial steel window installation services around you. They will probably be able to advise on the best look for your store depending on your location and what you sell. A proper commercial contractor should be able to provide the total service package, from consultation, to supply and installation.
Perfect the Display
As part of maintaining a good brand, you can use visual merchandising to tell your story. An effective retail display can enhance and elevate your merchandise and make it the focus of attention.
A visually pleasing retail display is crucial to the shopping experience. It can influence potential customers to visit your store to see more. Some retailers make the huge mistake of presenting their merchandise with a lack of creativity. Or, they have a lot of products crammed into one space. Your display should tell a story, so you should have some sort of theme for it.
For instance, if you need to set up a retail display to advertise summer clothing, it’s tempting to just throw a t-shirt and pair of shorts on a mannequin. Instead, the better way to do it would be to have a beach-related theme. It tells a better story and is more likely going to be more effective at attracting customers than the regular mannequin trick. Customers will appreciate the effort and will invest in your business. For the perfect display, you can hire commercial glass experts that specialize in retail displays.
Store Maintenance and Customer Acquisition
Besides answering the question of what is store maintenance, we should also understand the importance of maintaining a store. The appearance of a store is a reflection of its brand. If you are aiming for a certain target market, it is important to look the part. People are quick to pick up on the wrong things that a business is doing, and this impacts how they think about your business.
Nowadays there is a lot of competition in the retail industry, therefore it is crucial for retailers to ensure that they use every weapon in their arsenal to gain customers. Some even invest money in digital marketing to try to find new customers. Think about how much time and money you would have wasted if you captured a customer’s attention through marketing, and then just lost them because your store was dirty. Imagine nailing the online adverts, then an unpleasant odor chases the customer away.
Unfortunately, because online marketing channels are available to everyone now, most people get carried away and start focusing more on brand awareness instead of investing in the in-person experience. There’s nothing wrong with brand awareness, but the same effort and enthusiasm should be applied to store maintenance if a business is to keep getting new clients.
Store Maintenance and Customer Retention
Research shows that over 64 percent of customers will leave a store that is badly maintained. This means that having a store that appears disorganized and dirty will make a business lose paying customers. A lot of customers nowadays believe that businesses are putting more effort into tech-forward innovation and failing to attend to the basics of customer experience. Since a business is non-existent without customers, it’s best to follow what customers think and dedicates more time to improving cleanliness, orderliness, and general store atmosphere.
There’s no way that you can have a loyalty or rewards program that’ll make customers stick to a dirty sales floor. The same tricks and tips that you employ when gaining customers are the same you should use when you want to keep them. A store has to be consistent with its layout and quality of merchandise, and it has to present a similar ambiance with every visit. If customers are consistently happy with your service, they will keep coming back.
Store Maintenance Checklist
You can go through this store maintenance checklist to help you answer the question of what is store maintenance. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list. It is just a list of the things that you shouldn’t forget to do:
- Check the general condition of the storefront
- Clean any dirt or debris off the storefront and storefront sign
- Check if the security doors are working properly
- Check flooring for trip hazards and damage
- Check and ensure that walkways around the store are unobstructed
- Check Counters and Credenzas
- Check changing room mirrors, doors, walls, and partitions
- Assess functions of storeroom doors, locks, hinges, and mirror if any
- Check if the back-room shelving is secure
- Ensure that exit lighting is secure and illuminated
- Ensure that the switchboard is accessible and not obstructed by stock
- Check that the fire extinguisher is properly mounted and labeled
- Ensure that shelves are clean and there is no damaged or expired stock
Hopefully, we have answered the question of what is store maintenance. Store maintenance has an impact on how customers view a brand. This includes parking area appearance, floor condition, cleanliness of the goods themselves, and the overall layout and ambiance of the store. Failing to properly maintain a store is setting yourself up for failure when it comes to customer acquisition and retention. A simple scheduled maintenance plan will take care of your maintenance needs and have customers not only pouring in through your doors but staying as well.