1. Get some pushy salespeopleWe have all been in the kind of store where the sales assistant stays almost super-glued to our back, enthusiastically commenting “Oh, this would look so good on you!!” every. Single. Time we touch anything. Hire pushy and nosy staff and you will have customers running out of your store as fast as possible. Bonus points if your sales associates enter the changing room while the customer is trying on clothes chirping “So, how does it look?”
2. Keep your salespeople too busy to help anyoneIt doesn’t matter if they are engaged with other customers or chatting to each other; no one will wait more than a few minutes for an employee to help them find a shirt in a different size or assist them at the fitting rooms. Let customers who need help wait unattended, and sooner or later they will abandon the item – and your premises.
3. Have tiny fitting roomsThere are four key elements to a pleasant fitting room:
- enough space for people to undress and move comfortably;
- some hangers and a stool or shelf to hang clothes and handbag;
- a flattering light;
- a door or curtain that closes well and gives privacy.
- changing rooms reminiscent of vertical coffins, where they won’t be able to take off a jacket without banging their elbows;
- no hangers – they can put their stuff on the floor (which should be covered with dust bunnies);
- a fluorescent, non-flattering light;
- a flimsy curtain that barely covers half the cubicle.
4. Say no to organizationDo not organize your items by color, size or style. Showcase products without a logic – a few robes with the t-shirts, a few next to the scarves. Customers will get confused and overwhelmed, and will give up looking for something to their taste. When you are running a sale, don’t ever organize the items by size: force people to go through all your stock before they find something that might fit them. Bonus points if all the items you have left are in size XS – but you don’t tell your customers, and let them look for 20 minutes for a size L in vain.
5. Play repetitive, loud musicFor some, shopping is a stressful affair. Make it even more unpleasant by choosing repetitive, unpleasant music, and playing it very loud. Pleasant music at a not-too-high volume encourages people to stay longer in your store and spend more, research says; by playing an ear-splitting version of “The crazy frog” or something equally irritating, you will have them out of your store before you can say “Bye”.
6. Let lines grow longLong lines annoy everyone. There are three tricks to let your lines at the register grow longer and longer:
- Hire too few staff
- Use an outdated management system - even better, a bunch of outdated system strewn together: system breakdowns, mistakes and delays are guaranteed.
- Don’t use a mobile POS: if staff is able to assist customers on the spot, you will have no queue left!
7. Offer lots of physical loyalty cardsOffer a loyalty card which can be used for accessories only; one for the children collection; one for men’s clothes only… the more loyalty cards you create, the more inconvenient it will be for the customer to find the right one at checkout. 59 percent of consumers would rather join a loyalty program that offers a digital app than a physical card. If you want to alienate your customers and keep them from participating in your loyalty program, go for physical cards, and do not offer an app.
8. Carry different items in the online and physical storesMost customers look up items online before buying. Annoy them thoroughly by carrying different items in-store and on the e-commerce, and don’t tell them! Bonus points if the website says “available in store” next to the product – but doesn’t specify which store.
9. Open your store in a dead zone
The “chelfie” is trending big right now, so to keep your customers from promoting you for free on Instagram and Snapchat, make sure that there is no mobile network coverage or Wi-Fi in your store. This will keep you from being visible to potential customers, I promise. Follow these easy pieces of advice and you will get rid of all your customers in no time. Then you will finally be able to have your store all to yourself, and enjoy the silence.