Retail is a difficult sector to thrive in. With the advent of the internet, brick and mortar retail continues to struggle and shrink, yet there are a few businesses which continue to grow and succeed. These retail businesses must be doing something right. In this short analysis, we want to introduce you to some of the strategies they have been using.
Whether your retail business is an international organisation or a small single store, this guide will have some great tips and tricks for you to use. Just remember, every business is different, so find the strategies which will be most effective for your organisation.
Leverage Business Intelligence and Analytics
Many, particularly those running smaller businesses, think that marketing and design are the only ways to convince leads to make a purchase. It’s easy to get hung up on how your product is presented and how your shop looks, yet, there are other details which can be just as important.
Business intelligence is the umbrella term for any data-driven information you can use to help make educated business decisions. All businesses use some kind of data intelligence whether it’s what product is the best seller or what times are the shop busiest, but you can take this even further. By combining CCTV with business analytics, it’s possible to identify patterns in customer behaviour whilst they are in your shop.
What is the first thing customers look at when they walk in? What stands are they most likely to walk up to? What path do most customers take around the shop? Are there any bottlenecks that lead to people getting stuck? All of this can impact buyer behaviour and be optimised, improving business growth and success.
This should be a key consideration for any organisation looking to refine the details of their shop’s layout.
Theft, both internally by staff and externally by shoplifters, is a major problem for modern retail organisations. Looking at just the UK and US alone, it’s estimated that retail thefts cost businesses £4,821 million and $10 billion respectively – huge figures which simply can’t be ignored.
Whilst many larger businesses invest in security guards as security, this can be too expensive for smaller organisations, leaving them vulnerable to attack. In this case, you should consider other security options that may be more cost-effective. CCTV systems, remote monitoring, access control and staff training can all work towards deterring criminals or catching them in the act, ensuring that whatever goods were being taken are returned without affecting business operations.
Crime can completely destroy businesses so safeguard your growth and success with some effective security.
Select a Niche Target Audience
Many organisations make the mistake of trying to target ‘everyone’. Unfortunately, everyone is different and so appealing to them is extremely difficult as in trying to appeal to everyone, you often find yourself appealing to no one. The answer is to pick a niche target audience and focus in on them.
The best example of this is actually the hospitality industry. Restaurants rarely sell a host of different cuisines – instead, they sell a specific cuisine which they specialise in. This way they can focus all branding, décor, design and imagery around that specific cuisine, appealing only to those who want to eat that cuisine.
Retail shops should operate in the same way. Maybe your clothing shop can specialise in cruelty-free apparel? Or could your toy shop specialise in stocking all of the latest Lego products? Every business needs a unique selling point and focused target audience – select yours and home in on it to generate the most success.
Using these suggestions, you are sure to not only protect your business but help it grow and prosper too. With a little research and strategic planning, you can’t go wrong.
Interesting related article: “What is Retail?“