Being a successful retail business isn’t just about keeping your customers satisfied – although that is also a key factor. It’s all about a combination of factors that will lead to a retailer’s success. While every business is unique and has its own demands and objectives, these five habits are generally prevalent among most successful retail businesses.
You will often find that some retail owners will open a store because of their passion for a specific product category, which they then enjoy buying inventory to sell. This of course isn’t going to bring you retail success. Unfortunately, it’s not about what you want, it’s what they want. Successful merchants will coordinate their inventory ideas to accommodate their customers’ needs. This means you need to have the readiness to eliminate a product line, or even a whole range, as well as be prepared to introduce a new product category that you may not have imagined purchasing. Effective buying of inventory for a store happens when retailers listen to their customers, respond to consumer trends, and properly liaise with their vendors. To efficiently monitor this, making use of data will help. The right insight and sufficient knowledge will result in a retailer selling more.
Successful retailers know who their competition is, from big competitors to just their local high street stores. Don’t simply take the easier route and read about your competitors, go the extra mile and visit their stores. Assess your competitors’ product range, customer service standards, product displays, any online shopping opportunities, packaging and just general consumer impressions through customer reviews. By performing this type of analysis on a regular basis, retailers can recognise new industry trends, any missed opportunities, and new strategies to compete and stay ahead of the competition. So, never ignore your competition. The retail environment is constantly changing, therefore, consistent analysis of it is important.
It goes without saying, retailers are very busy people with plenty on their to-do list. Your list is usually filled with tasks from ordering inventory, to researching market trends, to merchandising your displays, to training staff, to planning online marketing and much more. Once one task ends, you immediately need to get round to doing something else. Successful retailers have the ability to recognise the importance of planning, of scheduling what is important and disregarding what isn’t. They also know that while they may enjoy some tasks more than others, all their responsibilities need to be prioritised in order to run a retail business effectively. Learning to schedule time limits and deadlines will help you to stay focused, keeping up with what needs to be done, and reducing unnecessary time spent.
A lot of money goes into opening your store, and making sure the doors stay open. Which is why you need to ensure that your store is being run by your staff properly. They are the faces of your business. Successful retailers recognise this and therefore train their sales assistants to represent their brand in the best possible way. Not only do they train them, but they also schedule regular training sessions for them. Training opportunities for staff can range from store operational procedures to customer service, and product training. The key to success is through investing time and money into your employees, ensuring they are happy, which will result in stronger assistants and more sales.