5 Ideas to Make Your Retail Business Stand Out
5 Ideas to Make Your Retail Business Stand Out. Unless you’re offering something truly unique, it can be hard to make your business stand out from the crowd and stay ahead of your competitors.
We live in a consumer-driven age where choice is vast, expectations are high, and purchasing is easier than ever.
So how can you ensure that customers are choosing your business ahead of your competitors? Here are 5 key elements for creating a strategy that helps your business to stand out from the crowd.
You can have the best product, service, or business idea in the world, but it doesn’t mean much if nobody knows about it. Great marketing is one of the most important tools you can use to stay one step ahead within your business sector.
Marketing is the process involved in promoting and creating interest in your product or service.
Create a marketing strategy to ensure your customers hear about you and your products, and ensure you are presenting the right products to real potential customers through research.
Create a list of the things you want people to know about your business, and find out as much as possible about your potential customers and what they want through market research. Use surveys, observations, or even interviews to gather useful data.
Once you have created a plan, get your business online with a website. Present on all social media channels, focusing on those that are most appealing to your potential audience.
Create a carefully organised database, to record important information and easily stay in touch with your customers. This helps you to ensure you are targeting the right demographic with products and services that interest them.
Be sure not to bombard your customer with too much information, as too much spam and irrelevant information can be off-putting, and have a negative impact.
Where interest is generated, you can use ads and paid promotions to reach an even greater audience.
Focus on your customers
Rather than creating a brand or product that you want to sell, create something that people want to buy.
By putting your customer at the heart of everything you do, you create a business that people want to buy from. This can give you a huge advantage over your competitors, even if they sell the same product or service.
Communication, honesty, and outstanding customer care are all vital elements for a customer-focused business. Each of these promotes trust and loyalty, which in turn encourages repeat business and recommendations.
Word of mouth is an important consideration. People talk, and thanks to the internet, these opinions have a greater reach than ever. If you can get this right, it’s the cheapest form of advertising for your business.
Make each customer feel that they are important to you; their opinion could influence many other potential customers in their decision to purchase from you.
Research shows that customers are even willing to spend more where the service is outstanding. Great customer relationships will keep your customers from turning to your competitors time and time again.
Not only is corporate responsibility great for the environment and community, but it is becoming more of an influence on consumers in their decision-making.
Ethics and sustainability are a hot media topic and are increasingly becoming more of a concern to the residents of our planet.
It’s apparent that today’s shoppers are now more aware than ever of the greater impact of their purchases, and many are now considering more than just prices.
Promoting a positive, responsible, and progressive image for your brand helps you build respect for your business and success for the future. Being aware of this shift in consumer attitude is not only great for society, but it can also give you a real edge over your competitors.
Corporate responsibility is reflected in 4 areas:
Considering the environmental impact of your business. Employing responsible business practices such as waste reduction, responsible sourcing, recycling, and sustainable energy.
Ethically responsible businesses engage in fair and humane practices. This may include the supply of products that are sustainably sourced, fairtrade, and not tested on animals. It will also include setting a fair living wage for employees and ensuring equality for all in the workforce and supply chain.
For a business, philanthropic responsibility involves giving something back. For a small business, this might be to the local community, through sponsoring a sports team or supporting local initiatives. On a larger scale, this may involve backing a charity, or pledging a percentage of profits to a good cause.
Making financial decisions that consider more than just profit can include and impact all the above. Fair wages and ethical sourcing may not always be the cheapest option, but where your business makes a responsible decision rather than going for the cheapest option, your customers will want to know about it.
Go the extra mile
Find out what your customers want, and what your competitors are offering, then go the extra mile.
Add free delivery, next day delivery, or a money-back guarantee, whatever your customers actually want. Ensure you’ve carried out some research before implementing any new system, to make sure your changes are effective.
You could add small in-store services that assist with people’s shopping experience, such as bag packing, late-night pick up, carrying goods to the car, or a loyalty scheme.
However, make sure that you can guarantee anything that you offer, or it may end up doing more harm than good.
Get to know your customers, engage in conversation, and be genuinely interested. People still appreciate the personal touch.
You can also give yourself a professional edge by getting to know your products. Find out details about who supplies them, what they contain, or how they work. Be prepared, so if your customer wants any information, you have it to hand. It shows that you’re genuinely interested in what you sell and that they should be too.
Make sure your staff are always trained and up to speed with your product’s information and promotions too.
Know your market
You can’t stay ahead of your competitors if you’re not always up to speed with what they are doing. Make it part of your daily task list to check out your competitors and their promotions locally, and on social media.
If your rival has a great promotion, new stock, additional services, or some appealing new technology, they could easily begin attracting your curious customers, and if you are not in the know, you may end up losing out.
Be flexible, and set yourself up to be able to react quickly to promotions, offers, or changes in the market.
With their permission, retain your customer’s information and offer them timely incentives to complete customer feedback and surveys. This ensures you are always aware of their needs and concerns and gives you the opportunity to address them.
By knowing what your customers want and what your competitors are offering, you’re in a great position to create a strong business strategy for profit and customer retention.
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About the author:
Susan McGuire has been with Retail Solutions for 6 years, and during that time has had roles in the areas of Maintenance, Finance, & Marketing. You can follow her on LinkedIn!