2016 has been a tough year for Australasian retailers, with some chains having to close stores to remain profitable, and others having to close altogether.
Globally, the retail landscape is changing. Fast. In a matter of months the conversation has changed from bricks-and-mortar vs. online, to multichannel, to omnichannel, to big data, to total retail.
With all the noise, how the heck can any retailer be expected to keep up with the ever-elusive goal post? Is it even possible?
The retail spectrum
The trick here is self-surety. Understanding, not where your business sits currently, but how and where you want your business to grow. At RedSeed, we call this the retail spectrum.
So, while all of the aforementioned buzz-words are definitely valid in the retail industry as-a-whole, the retail spectrum operates under the idea that no two businesses are the same and so, some new retail concepts (and some old ones) hold less relevance than others depending on where your business sits along the spectrum and what goals you have in place for your business. Do you want to move further along the spectrum to one end, or the other, or do you want to stay put and carve out your position?
Transforming your retail business
So how do you know where you should be? Well, this all starts by looking to your customers. Who are they? What do they want? Why do they shop with you? Perhaps your customer is predominantly millennials who love shopping with you because of your online experience, or perhaps customers are attracted to your in-store experience.
If you don’t know the answer to this question then it’s time to start asking!
Once you know what it is that your customer loves about shopping with you (or what they don’t love about it) then you can start to identify areas for improvement and begin to construct your customer-centric strategy and transform your retail business.
If your business’s physical presence still plays a large role in this strategy, one of the first things you must consider is looking for a training package that allows you to consistently train your whole team on how to deliver the experience that’s aligned to your key business drivers.
Apart from the obvious improvement in your customer experience, good training solutions will also be able to demonstrably prove their own ROI, whether this is a reduction in existing training overheads, an improvement in mystery shopper results, or a guaranteed growth in sales, you should always pick a solution that has the numbers to back-up what they’re selling.
The next thing you want to look for, is a solution with the flexibility to fit your business and help you work towards your goals, and achieve your strategy.
Here’s a little tip; bespoke solutions are often far too costly for large retailers looking to keep costs down in the current retail climate, so look for a solution that has off-the-shelf content that can be customised to your business.