5 Immutable Laws of Retail
Succeeding in any retail market involves a lot more than just stocking your shelves in the hopes that customers flood through your doors with open wallets. And while each industry has it own unique set of customers with their own unique buying behaviours, there are a number of overarching success principles when it comes to retail that apply across the board.
In this article we’ll explore a few of them to help make sure you’re able to stay on top of your industry whatever the situation.
1. It’s All About the Customers
What’s the point of having awesome merchandise if there’s no one to sell it to? You wouldn’t be in business if it wasn’t for consumers coming in and spending with you. The customer truly is the key to retail success, and should therefore be the center of your focus.
Your entire retail empire needs to be built around your customers. Identifying what they want and how they spend can help your business grow. And the only way you’re going to find this information out is by listening attentively to them. Having a customer rewards program place is a great way to gather and act on this vital information.
While offering your loyal customers rewards for their patronage, you can implement a data analysis program behind the scenes to gather and comb through all their purchasing history. From this info, you can tweak your business to cater more towards what they want, offering them promotions based on what they buy and exprimenting with new products in categories that have the most upward momentum.
2. Location, Location, Location!
You’ve probably heard the mantra, “location, location, location” in the world of real estate. Well, the world of retail isn’t too far off. When it comes to brick and mortar shops, being located in a prime area can make or break your business.
While the internet may have changed our shopping habits a great deal over the years – and will continue to do so into the future – having your physical store situated in a highly visible, high-traffic location can have a huge impact on the success of your retail company. Where your store is specifically located will depend on your precise products and brand.
For instance, a high-end clothing boutique would be better served in a ritzy area, while a grocery store should be centrally located in or near a neighborhood and it should include plenty of parking space. In addition, you’ll want your store be close to non-competitive retail businesses that have a steady flow of customers so that you can take advantage of the overflow, and drive your walk-in traffic.
3. Back to Basics – The 4 ‘P’s’ of Retailing
An oldie but a goodie. The 4 P’s in retailing was important decades ago, and is still important and useable today: Product, Price, Place, Promotion.
Product – First of all, your business needs products that your customers are actually going to want to buy. Satisfying your customers’ needs and wants is key to driving profits for your business.
Price – you want to make a healthy profit while in the retail business, right? Obviously. But don’t start charging exorbitant prices for products just to make a quick buck. Overprice your product, and you’ll surely scare off your valued customers. The price you charge for your products should ideally be within the correct range for customers to be able to afford your products, and gain value from them at the same time.
Place – Where are your customers going to go to buy your products? A physical store? An eCommerce site?
Promotion – After you’ve developed the perfect product, priced it perfectly, and decided on a place for your customers to find it and buy it, the last thing you need to do is tell people about it. You could have the best product in town, but if no one knows about it, you won’t be making any money off of it. That’s where effective marketing comes into play.
4. Make the Shopping Experience a Rewarding One
Customers shouldn’t feel like they are coerced into buying something from you. Don’t make it a mundane task for them. Instead, make shopping with your company not only fun, but rewarding too.
The success of your business depends on the satisfaction of your customers
One of the most effective ways to do this is by offering a loyalty program that rewards your best customers for their frequent purchases, and even their engagement in online communities related to your business.
A tiered loyalty program in particular has proven to be highly successful at upping the fun factor and enticing customers to ‘play’ the shopping game. Think about it: they start at the bottom, and have to complete certain tasks before reaching their first milestone and entering tier number 2.
Reaching that milestone is an accomplishment for your customers, making them not only feel proud of themselves for making it as far as they have, but also fueling their desire to tackle the next milestone to continue climbing the tier ladder. This type of program ignites the competitive edge in consumers, making them actually want to shop and participate, which is always good for business.
5. Target Marketing
Identifying your target audience of consumers is one of the most critical elements in retail marketing. If you have no clue who your target market is, you stand a good chance of marketing to the wrong people.
You could potentially send out a blanket ad campaign to cover every inch of your geographic area, but that would certainly cost a pretty penny and eat you out of house and home. Obviously, this is not a realistic endeavor.
Targeting would be much more cost-effective, but knowing who to target your ads to is key. There’s no point advertising your houseware products to a group of 5-year olds, much like there’s nothing to be gained by advertising baby food to professional thirty-somethings without kids. Learning how to identify your target audience will make your retail marketing efforts a lot more effective.
Rewarding Your Customers is the Pinnacle of Good Business
There’s a lot to be learned in order to be successful in the realm of retail, and it all starts with the customer. What they want, and how they want it is important for you to know. Luckily, with the implementation of a loyalty reward program, you can effectively collect pertinent data that customers willingly provide to you to identify what these trends are.
The Loyalty Box offers retail businesses an effective platform that makes operating a practical loyalty program a cinch. Run any type of loyalty program you desire, gather data on customer purchasing behavior, and use it to send your valued customers relevant promotions and rewards they actually appreciate.
If you don’t already have a loyalty program of your own, sign up for a free no-obligation trial with The Loyalty Box today!