Posted: Wed 4th Jan 2023
Before getting stuck into the blog, it's important to look at where retail is now, as a whole.
The following is taken from a recent article published by Forbes, which examined the ups and downs of retailing over the past three years:
"Retailers and brands are coming out of a pandemic that has essentially lasted three years. Over the past year, challenges across the supply chain, inflationary pricing, economic uncertainty, and geo-political factors have taxed retailers and squeezed their financials.
"With the new year, however, there is a positive outlook and focus on the customer shopping journey, as retailers adjust to a new normal – a seamless experience and hybrid shopping are shaping the future of retail."
I'm hearing the following:
"I'm making increases in payroll and I can't afford to keep the business open."
"People are all shopping online now so I won't be in business for much longer."
"People don't have the money so I can't see myself being able to stay open for much longer."
"That won't work, I just know it won't."
Implementing any change is not easy, and the pain of not doing it needs to exceed the pain of doing it in order for any change to occur.
This could be on any number of key performance indicators (KPIs) within your organisation. But here I'll discuss the following:
ATV (average transaction value)
IPC (items per customer)
PPP (price per product)
FF (footfall counter at front door)
Not every store will have the luxury of being in a high-traffic footfall area, so it does not make sense for that store to be going after footfall over and over again.
Don't focus on every KPI – this is one mistake that I see a lot with retailers. It rarely works and is not the norm for all to be performing at an exceptionally high level, consistently.
You will waste a lot of money. Instead, if you put those same resources into KPIs that will give you the return needed to increase your cash flow, you will generally see a higher profit.
So focus only on those key KPIs, whichever you identify that'll provide the best ROI.
This is where retailers need to reinvent themselves and be innovative in their approach to being omnichannel businesses.
We need to think like customers and put ourselves in their world. We need to meet them where they are, where they are spending their time – whether it's apps, watching video content, or consuming online content.
The appetite has increased and many shoppers are wanting their shopping included in their experiences. Having online shopping that customers can purchase live from needs to be available.
The benefit of this is to increase cash flow through adverts on your webpage. Many companies in the US have found this to be very successful and it's growing year-on-year.
Use technology such as phones in stores to interact with customers who visit. Ask yourself, as a retailer, how interactive your shop floor is for those of us that want to use mobiles to interact with products.
QR codes for 'how to' videos or to get products into your shopping basket, or iPads to take quizzes to find that perfect sofa – these are just some ways a retailer can incorporate interactivity.
If you want to know what you can use in your business to really stand out, be sure to connect with me on Enterprise Nation.
What additional services could you offer for your business that will build on the community of your brand?
Shop-in-shop has popularised over recent years. Brands such as Next feature other brands such as Nike, Topshop and many others that you can purchase from.
If your brand ethos is very aligned with sustainability – as Patagonia's is – then having a 'reuse or repurchase preloved clothing' in a part of the store works well.
Zara is also piloting this in the UK, having preloved clothing repaired for customers to help strengthen sustainability within their brand offering.