As the retail sector faces challenges from online shopping it is vitally important that physical stores mirror the sleek operations of their online counterparts, but don’t be fooled into thinking that the benefits of a clean store are merely limited to aesthetics.
Thoroughly maintained and sanitary premises bring with them a range of unforeseen bonuses, whilst also alleviating some problems you may not even be aware of.
First Impressions Count
For example, you may be missing out on customers walking by your storefront without even realising it. The first step to making a sale is enticing in your clientele, but that’s never going to happen if your windows are dirty, your signage is grubby, and your store looks about as inviting as scuba diving in the sewers. Maintain a pristine exterior and you’ll stand a far better chance of attracting both regular custom and spontaneous shoppers.
Once your customers are inside the air quality plays an equally important role. If upon entering people are greeted with unpleasant smells from toilets, food storage areas or stale water they’ll turn right back around and head for the exit. Removing the cause of foul smells is an obvious move, but you should also pay attention to cleaning your air ventilation system so no one smell overpowers the store entirely.
When your customers are inside and browsing your store you may be surprised to know that they value a clean and tidy environment even above customer service as a sign of brand reputation. Grubbiness is a huge negative in any line of business, and 99% of customers say a dirty store negatively affects their decision to return, so it’s probably unwise to rely on the 1% who don’t really care!
A study by M/A/R/C Research and National found that 14% of consumers would stop visiting a store which wasn’t as clean as they’d liked, and 29% would only visit if they couldn’t find certain items elsewhere. This indicates that it pays to achieve a high level of cleanliness in your store and go beyond what is merely acceptable, as not only does it reinforce brand loyalty, it also makes a difference to one-off purchase decisions.
It should also go without saying that restrooms and changing rooms should be immaculate, as if your customer is trusting you to protect them whilst in a vulnerable position they don’t want to find dirt and decay in their surroundings. Equally studies on staff productivity have shown that employees are known to be more enthusiastic in a clean workplace, so make sure their facilities, including break areas and toilets, are also kept clean.
Of course a clean store isn’t just about smells and stains, because an unorganised store can look just as bad as a dirty one. Customers and staff will treat your store as they found it, so if products are damaged and left in the aisles they will mirror this behaviour.
Messy stores also mean safety can be compromised as goods are left on the floor and spills go unchecked. Maintaining a vigilant attitude to organising your store and reacting to spills and breakages is just as important as sticking to a thorough cleaning routine.
Comprehensive Cleaning Routine
In terms of enacting a comprehensive cleaning routine it can be difficult to find the time, but with most modern cleaning equipment many processes can actually be done during working hours with non-intrusive methods, with other jobs saved for closing time. You wouldn’t want to use a steam cleaner to remove grime during the day, but you can easily operate a small scrubber dryer without fuss within a busy shop floor environment.
The ease and simplicity of industrial cleaning equipment hire means you can place regular orders for the tools you need to complete your routine store maintenance tasks with minimal fuss. Everything you need to tackle day tasks is ready for you first thing in the morning, and when night comes the big rigs come out and you’re ready for a deep clean from top to bottom.
Clean Sweep UK have advised many retail proprietors on the best ways to keep their premises clean, so if you would like further advice on what options are available for your business contact us today on 0844 967 1930.