The retail industry is competitive. It doesn’t matter if you are running a bricks and mortar store or an e-commerce site, there are certain qualities every successful business shares. To ensure your success in a competitive market, here are some common characteristics of a reputable retailer.
They Have a Clear Strategy
If you want to be perceived as a forward-thinking retail company, you need to become a forward-thinking retail company. Follow in the footsteps of some of the biggest and best retailers by developing a clear strategy for one, three and five years’ time. By identifying your company goals, you can define the small steps you need to make them a reality.
A Flexible Budget
Yet, to meet your annual goals, you must develop a flexible budget to that allows you to adapt to changing circumstances and consumer demand. This will ensure your business can face any financial pitfalls that could otherwise negatively affect the business. Being prepared for anything is fundamental to any business strategy.
Every successful retailer understands the importance of performance measurement. It’s imperative to keep tight control of the company’s finances, which means comparing your monthly figures against the previous month’s turnover. What’s more, you must compare the month’s figures against the same period last year, which will help you to identify what products are profitable and what is putting a strain on your budget. This will help you to strengthen your positive margins and improve the company’s weaknesses.
Evolving Approach to Business
The largest companies that exist today didn’t enjoy overnight success. It will have taken a great deal of time, and an ‘outside the box’ approach to becoming the established brand’s people know and love today. To become one, you need to continually evolve your attitude, systems, and products to tweak or refine your business, so you’ll continually meet consumer demand and are always one step ahead of the competition.
An Exceptional In-store Customer Experience
The customer is the heart of a business. Successful retailers understand this, which is why they aim to provide their customers with an exceptional in-store experience. While this doesn’t mean you need to install high-tech TVs and blaring music, it does mean you should provide a space that allows them to browse and shop with ease. Look for ways to simplify the shopping experience to ensure they become loyal customers.
A Focus on Customer Service
Never mistake hiring additional sales staff as providing better customer service. You can have a million people on staff, but if all of them are rude and unhelpful, then your customers will leave you for your competitors. It’s vital you focus on developing a company DNA that instills values and behaviors in your team. It will ensure every member of staff reflects the business, which will lead to a better service for your customers.
Of course, all the training in the world can’t make your employees believe in your brand and the products you are selling. While employees who do not love retail can still provide good customer service, people who are passionate about the industry will provide an excellent service. You need to identify if they have the passion you need to grow your business during the interview process. If somebody is passionate and enthused about what they are selling to a customer, they will naturally seem more informed and confident about the product itself, which can go a long way in terms of boosting potential face-to-face sales.
Modern retailers utilize forward-thinking technologies to streamline their operations. If you want to create a more productive business, you need to invest in the best hardware and software technologies, which can improve efficiency and turnover. For example, point of sale software can help you to identify the items that are selling faster than others and can help you to optimize stock using inventory management.
Retailers must be willing to adapt to the demands of a specific location. Unless you are a major business that offers standardized products, you would be wise to localize products to complement each store’s wants and needs. You should, therefore, tailor every store to a community, as a one-size-fits-all approach might not be ideal for multiple stores.
Social Media Leveraging
Social media is connecting people to companies better than ever before. Retail companies not utilizing its vast power are making a big mistake, as the sales channels allow businesses to connect with new and existing customers every day through organic and paid social posts. In fact, it’s believed 90% of consumers reach out to retailers via social media, so you must have a presence on various networks to connect with your customer. 70% of people are reportedly more likely to use a brand’s product or service if they follow them on social media, while 65% stated they have more brand loyalty, as a result. So, if you want to improve all aspects of your business, you will need to develop compelling social media posts that reflect your business and connect with your target audience.
More retailers are aiming to provide their customers with a seamless shopping experience, which is why they are striving to connect their online and offline channels. If you have yet to embrace omnichannel retailing, now is the time, as it can provide customers with a more convenient shopping experience. For example, they can purchase a product online and pick it up at the store the same day.
Running a retail company can be incredibly demanding in the modern marketplace, as you will undoubtedly be up against much competition. You, therefore, need more than just a great product and price to compete with your industry rivals. If you want to continually increase your profit margin, you must develop a forward-thinking approach to the industry, which means monitoring your numbers, embracing new technologies, streamlining processes, and providing an excellent customer experience. Yet, with a strategic vision and the right employees on staff, you can become a leading retailer in the industry.