Running a retail shop is quite a challenge. Not only do you have to manage the inventory and employees properly, in today's world, you will also have to meet all the expectations of your customers and prospects.
Having worked with many different retail shop owners build them the right eCommerce solution, we have discovered some of the factors that affect the success of a retail store. Here are our list of 10 must-do things for the success of any retail shop.
1. Offer best value for money
Lets face it, we live in an age where information has become much more accessible! It is almost certain that customers know many things about your products and your competitors, not from you, but from their friends and mostly through the Internet. This immense power to your customers has left no alternative to the retailers but to provide the best value for their money.
There are 2 ways of achieving this - lower your pricing or add more value to your products or services. Knowing what works best for you is the most important test of your entrepreneurship.
2. Right Products that Sells
We are seeing invention and product optimization at the most rapid pace in today's world. Customer taste and fashion change every few years. Knowing what is (still) in demand is crucial for a retail to keep itself in business. Given the rise of consumerism, there are many different products in the market now and to be optimistic, almost all of them have a place. It's all about finding the right product for your right target market and knowing what is in demand.
Match what you sell with where you sell, how you sell and to whom you sell is the key.
3. Exceptional Customer Service
You must have felt it already - competition is very high. There is a good chance that there over a dozen other stores selling the exact same products and services within your locality. The only way to beat your competitor is excellent customer service. People want to buy from where they feel friendly, liked, welcomed and being well respected. Keeping your customer happy, from start-to-end is what can make or break your business.
Truthfulness, high-quality product and services, positive and friendly customer serving staff, good store ambiance, proper use of various tools, technologies, graphics, informatics are some of the ways to achieve great customer service.
4. Right Location & Space
Location is another crucial aspect for your retail success. While having your retail shop at the high traffic location is very attractive, other strategic locations should also be considered. If you are selling toys, having a store closer to a kids friendly places will attract more customers. While if you are selling fruits and veggies, having your shop closer to Woolworth, Coles, Aldi will bring in the right attention.
Identifying your market segment, work out the best strategic location for your store such that people can visit your place with ease (ample parking space), and are attracted to your products/services.
5. Effective Marketing
Location and product no doubt will lend to the start of marketing - educating and attracting all your prospects is crucial. Getting the effective marketing strategy in the first step - proper implementation is very vital.
Starting from banners, posters and pamphlets, having an effective and vibrant website, opting for print and radio advertisement and if the budget permits, why not the TV commercials?
6. Efficient Inventory Control
Lets face it, selling is one part of the business where you can hire people to do it for you. But Inventory management is the crucial business activity that directly involves the owner - from buying stock to storing it and proper dispatch. Knowing what to stock and what not too can also mean a lot for your working capital's health. And managing your suppliers and procurement process is equally important.
Use of proper inventory management system, that helps you manage all your inventory at one place, from managing suppliers to supplies to storage locations.
7. Proper Management Operations
Running a retail shop is seldom a one-man job. Even the smallest of retail store will need couple of people working for the business, either directly as an employee or indirectly, as suppliers, loaders delivering your stock. The bigger you store, the bigger the management overhead. Improving the efficiency of your management operations by strategizing, compartmentalizing and use of efficient tools and technology is very crucial for the success of your business.
Having a right management procedure and making sure everyone in your store understands it and abides by it can improve your management operations. Of course, you need to optimize it as you go along. You will also need to be aware of the right process of hiring employees.
8. Keeping up to date
The culture, society, technology and economy is constantly changing. Keeping yourself up to date with all this current activity is very crucial. Subscribing to magazines, newsletters related to your industry, attending various awareness seminars can help you keep up to date. This has direct effect on your understanding of what to sell, how to market and how to achieve best value-for-money both for yourself and your customers.
Being Internet Savvy, reading industry newspapers/magazines, attending seminars and workshops related to your industry is no longer an options !!
9. Get into the right network
Selling to customers needs you to be able to find and build confidence. Getting into various social and business networks can thus give you exposure to different such groups which you can gradually start building trust with. You might find a bulk-buyer, a key partner, an inspiration and many more if you network frequently.
10. Open Up New Avenues
Expanding your product range, or expanding to new retail domain, or expanding to new channels is something that should be considered by anyone wanting to grow or at least stay as big as they are. Not doing so will only mean shrinking your current market position, as new entrants, new technology, buying habit changes is the hard reality of today's business.
If you don't have online presence, you should seriously start considering the options. You can sell on eBay, Amazon or you can also open up your own online shop. If is very important now as without such you will soon become invisible to all the buyers out there - many buying stuffs online now a days. Please checkout why you need an eCommerce store.
This sums up 10 success mantras for retail success from our understanding. Hope you found it informative.
Would love to hear any missing tips or interesting personal stories from all successful retailers out there.