With the Retail Industry witnessing transformations over the last 2 years, 2018 is no exception. Shopping trends are changing and traditional retailers must give a convincing reason to buy from their store instead of shopping with e-Commerce giants. Also, with revolutionary changes in Taxation systems, the survival in the industry is getting tougher day by day.
Here are few tips to not only overcome those challenges but also to smartly prosper in the Retail Industry 2018.
#1 – Reach Out to Customers – Provide a Better Experience Than e-Commerce
Have you ever wondered why walk-in customers have decreased in the past 2 years ?
It’s definitelyÂ due to theÂ unimaginable growth of E-Commerce business.Â Shoppers are researching aboutÂ products online soÂ thatÂ when they get to the store, they have their eyes squarely on the price. In mostÂ cases, they get their productÂ delivered from an Online Store.Â Customers feel special when the product arrives at their doorstep. Their time is saved, their need is met. So how can you win this situationÂ ?
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Provide a great In-Store Experience, Everywhere.
Get sales orders andÂ make bills On-THE-GO: You will be getting orders from different mediums like Facebook page, KIOSK stalls at events. This way, you can understand which customer needs what and sell quality products by reaching out to customers. GettingÂ a desiredÂ product delivered through a courier person and the seller themselves are entirely two different things!
#2 – Manage Business, Not Just People!
70% of successful retailers are focused more onÂ theirÂ Business,Â than monitoring people. Focusing a lot more on customers and business allows you to expand sales upÂ to 40% in a financial year. Even if you employ manual labor, youÂ should be able to manage and operate everything from a single place. Tracking employee performances, location & inventory they manage, the revenue generated per salesman etc can help you and let your employees to refrain from malpracticesÂ toÂ follow a systematicÂ management policy. You should be able toÂ talk to your business and get actionable insights as reports, no matter where you are.
Watch out for wastage,spoilage and Scrap:
High inventory causes wastage, inventory obsolescence, loss and theft, maintenance and taxes. Studies have shown that the annual additional cost of holding excess inventory can be 25% to 32%. Use a properÂ reorder mechanism for placing purchase orders, even adaptÂ Artificial Intelligence to foresee sales. The cost for AI adaption will be comparatively lower than the cost incurred due to high wastage. Announce offers, Flat % sales, VAN sales before its too late to ensure you don’t end up inÂ a loss. Even a lower margin is better than No ROI at all.
#3 – Establish Your Presence In Retail Market!
Make your presence everywhere. If there is a retailer’s meet or a public gathering in your locality, don’t forget to put your store’s stall. Even if people don’t buy, they come to know that you exist. If your presence is not established, customers will be flocking to your competitors.
You can also connectÂ withÂ your customers digitally. Have a Facebook/Instagram page for your store. Post attractive offers, reply to customer queries within minutes and make them feel special. See, even a virtual presence matters!
Being a retailer, you will be the CEO, Manager, Marketer, Financial Advisor and all other possible rolesÂ established in a well-defined company. While all other roles has individuality and own systematic perspectives, marketing is something which needs to be changing according to the trends.
“Good marketing makes your store look smart, great Marketing makes your customers feel Smart. Be a great marketer.”
Use your social mediums to promote your business, participate in nearby social gatherings, stay connected with your customers. Creative contents help your brand and store to be remembered long time and increases the share-ability factor among readers.
#4 – Invest on Technology
Just as technology has disrupted our daily lives (How many times have you checked your smart phone today?) , it has a huge effect on retail industry too!
Forbes quotedÂ “Survival in today’s retail environment means merging Physical and Digital”. While there are many UN-answerable questions like “How big will the mobile commerce become?” & “What is the guarantee that the future of Retail relies on Digital?”, one thing for sure is retailers who fail toÂ adoptÂ technology into their businessesÂ now will find their position questionable in 2018.
We advice to cautiously take forward this digital transition by comparatively less investment. A first step towards digital journey is to accept various payment options – PayTM, UPI, Chillr, FreeCharge, JioMoney etc.
Remember the times where you skipped restaurants and shops just because they don’t accept cards? Have multiple swipe machines, reach out to customers and always accept their choice of payment method without a question.
Reduce Hardware Investment and Operational costs:
- Statistics state that a growing retailer is investing upto 40% of his store value in hardware and accessories. This includes hardware starting from computer machines for billing, to the Crowd controllers used for queue in retail stores.
- Smart retailers have the habit of keeping the hardware investment and operational costs very low. For instance, instead of billing with 10 computers, a retailer can have a main server and use 9 mobile phones or tablets for billing.
- These mobile phones can also be used as an Express Checkout Counter to efficiently manage the crowd in store.Â Mobile POSÂ nowadays are equipped with all advanced technologies – from scanning barcodes and bill items to printing invoice copies through a compact bluetooth printer.
- Instead of investing heavily on hardware,Â you must focus on Mobile POS, compact scanners/bluetooth printers that can be used to reduce the time spent by a customer in queues for billing.
Billing On-THE-GO!! Doesn’t it sound interesting?