Sunday 16 October 2016

How Unique Is Your Business?

Being a retailer has become really hard. Oh how I wish for the good old days of retailing when setting up a physical retail display guaranteed you a certain uniqueness. Sure, you had competition from fellow traders but consumers had to come to your place to see your offer. At The Queen Vic Market our uniqueness was inherent in our product choice, our ability to cut out the middle-man, and the fact that we traded when others didn’t.

Now that uniqueness has gone. Consumers have a whole selection of options before they make their purchase and sometimes they don't even have to walk out their front door. An unfortunate consequence of flat retail sales is that retailers are demanding that suppliers only provide them with guaranteed, sure-fire sellers, and of course the result of that is that more retailers are selling the same sure-fire sellers and the uniqueness becomes even more watered down.

Make no mistake - your future as a retailer relies on you being unique. Consumers need a really good reason to buy off you but the good news is that there are a whole lot of ways to achieve uniqueness -
1.   Price. - your products obviously have to be competitive and you may choose to select price as your key advantage.
2.   Presentation. - how well you display your products, or more importantly, how much pride you show in your product, is important.
3.   Innovation. - the power fuel of entrepreneurs is innovation. New products, new ways of presenting old products, and constantly thinking outside the square, are all productive ingredients.
4.   Service. - we have mentioned that customers have so much choice, and they are in the box seat. Meeting, and exceeding, customer service expectations will enhance your uniqueness.
5.   Marketing. - there are many different ways of marketing your business these days and fortunately many of those ways are inexpensive. Website's and social media are accessible to all.

The variety of elements that you can excel in is the good news, but the bad news is that picking just one of those elements, and doing it well, is not going to be enough. Some of those key points are essential in combination, they rely on other components to become truly effective. Yes, retailing has become really hard, but then anything truly worthwhile usually is. Just how unique are you?

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