There are far too many words of advice for retailers about a bewildering range of options and sometimes you just don’t want to be the guinea pig for the next new thing. But, this short list of essentials may be useful in assessing what is important.
3. Third on our list is customer engagement. Finding ways to engage with customers is essential to today’s retailing and the competition is intense. Bigger retailers rely on big data which is resource intensive but smaller retailers have many convenient forms of engagement in social media and websites that with a moderate amount of time and effort can reap rewards. And let’s not forgot that incredibly important engagement when a customer visits your shop or stall. What you learn from face to face discussion with customers is gold.
2. Second is exclusivity. We know that having that one single product that is in huge demand, but nobody else has, is the holy grail of retailing. Reality rarely gives us that exclusivity but we can differentiate ourselves on many levels. Price, presentation, range, availability, experiences, choice, are just some of the ways we can rise above the pack.
1. And the number one, most important ingredient in retailing right now is convenience. This is not just about online, although online is a great example of modern convenience at work. For customers, sitting on your couch in a quiet time and shopping on your phone or tablet can be very convenient. But equally, being able to easily find what you are looking for, having access to a full range of options, paying in a way that suits you, organising delivery, organising packaging if you want to takeaway or send yourself, and then being able to track and follow up, are all conveniences that are becoming expected, and can make physical shopping a truly joyful experience. And let’s not forget the convenience of true expert opinion from the seller to help make your choice.