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Running a retail business is without a doubt an extremely challenging affair. From dissatisfied customers to unhappy employees, it can be insane keeping on top of everything. However, with a few clever strategies, retailers can change the game and remain profitable.

Here, we are 5 ways for you to shake up your retail business.

1. Build your brand image
From defining your business to helping you edge out competitors, your brand is everything. A brand isn’t what’s being sold in your store, instead it’s how you’re perceived by customers. It is what customers think when they enter your store.

Branding helps customers develop a personal attachment to your business and helps them identify with you. For example, your business can be defined by excellent customer service and impeccable quality. Having associated these traits with your business, you’ll be able to stand out from the crowd.

This is essential if your business is to remain relevant in today’s competitive environment.

2. Invest in your people
Your sales staff are often the first point of contact with customers. Upon entering the store, customers are greeted by salespeople, and this is where first impressions are formed. Uninterested staff who couldn’t be bothered are only going to antagonize customers and discourage potential patrons.

Instead, you want staff who are enthusiastic and eager to interact with customers. Offer training programs to upskill them and introduce incentive programs that reward staff for positive feedback from customers.

You should look upon the coaches of basketball, football or NFL Superbowl favourites teams and how they train their players, searching for a team identity. If your employees work together for a mutual goal, they will achieve better results than if they are working on their own.

Along with this, ensure that your staff are happy and motivated at all times. Engaged employees perform better, which translates into happier customers. Happy customers are more likely to remain loyal to your business and will likely return.

Frontline staff are the ambassadors of your business and are a reflection of your management. By ensuring that customers are happy, you’ll be able to ensure higher rates of customer retention.

3. Be fanatical about customer service
Any retailer should be fanatical about customer service. Unhappy or dissatisfied customers will very quickly destroy any goodwill you have built up. Thanks to the power of social media, a single negative review can have devastating effects on your business.

This is why impeccable customer service standards are crucial for any retail outlet. Always ensure that your customers walk away with a smile on their face. By turning a negative experience into a positive one, you’ll be able to turn a single customer into an ambassador for your store.

4. Have a solid website
Your store’s website can say a lot about your business. A poorly designed website with a terrible layout only serves to infuriate and discourage potential buyers. Your website should be easy to navigate and intuitive. This ensures that all relevant information regarding your business and products are readily available.

Hence, this provides customers with an incentive to shop with you. A seamless online shopping experience reduces the likelihood of cart abandonment while at the same time, encouraging shoppers to patronize your online store.

5. Get on social media
From communicating with potential customers to spreading the word about an in-store promotion, the power of social media should never be underestimated. Social media allows you to generate brand awareness, foster customer loyalty and even act as a form of free advertising.

Take the case of Wendy’s for example. Having leveraged on the reach of Twitter, Wendy’s social media marketing team was able to engage with their customers on a whole new level. Through a series of cheeky Twitter posts, Wendy’s social media campaign garnered a huge amount of attention despite their humble budget.

This enabled Wendy’s marketing team to punch way above their weight and changed the nature of advertising and customer engagement.

Business owners and retailers need to constantly reinvent themselves to remain relevant in this competitive field.