There’s a saying in retail that the customer is always right. While this motto is often relevant for retailers, letting customers call all the shots won’t make you successful. And while every merchant is different, and every store has its own demands and goals, the following habits are repeatedly observed among many successful retailers.
Retailers are busy. From ordering inventory to researching market trends to merchandising displays to training staff and planning in-store events to scheduling online marketing and more, running a retail business means always having something to do.
Successful retailers recognise the value in scheduling what is necessary to do. This means recognising that, while some responsibilities are more enjoyable than others, all responsibilities must be prioritised to run a successful retail business.
Scheduling time limits and deadlines can help you stay focused and on schedule, eliminating extra time spent where it shouldn’t be.
With a lot on a retailer’s to-do list, who has time to dwell on the past?
Retailers are bound to make poor stocking decisions or have a slow month. Successful retailers analyse these situations as opportunities to learn from. It’s important for retailers to move forward – their customers already have.
One of the best ways to do this is to analyse data. The more retailers know through hard data, the better they are in supporting their customers.
Stores spend a lot of money to open their doors. The people of any business are the faces of that brand, whether they want to accept that role or not.
As employers, it’s key to understand this and train staff to best represent their stores. Retailers who successfully run their businesses recognise the value in their employees and not only train them, they train them often.
Opportunities to train staff can range from store operational procedures to customer service updates to product training. The key is to invest into your employees to reap the rewards of strong employees and as a result, strong sales.
Know the competition
Successful merchants know who their competition is. Savvy retailers take the time to visit the stores that compete with their business.
Analysing their product assortment, customer service experiences, in-store displays, online shopping opportunities, special events, dress code, store packaging, visual displays and overall consumer impressions are just a few of the things retailers look for when it comes to checking out their competition.
Often, this type of routine analysis allows retailers to recognize new industry trends, missed opportunities, new strategies to compete for sales and other ways to stay afloat in the competitive retail marketplace.
Make hard stocking decisions
Often, retailers open a store because they love a product category. As a result, they enjoy buying inventory to sell in their stores.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always a recipe for retail success. Merchants who have become successful and more importantly, stayed successful, are willing to shift their inventory plans to accommodate their customers versus themselves.
This may mean eliminating a product line or an entire category of inventory, as well as introducing a new product category that even the retailer is surprised by.
When merchants listen to their customers, react to consumer trends, work with their suppliers and respond to what their customers want, they can more effectively buy inventory for their stores. Using data will once again help monitor this, as well. And as a result, retailers can sell more.