It’s easy to get discouraged based on the headlines surrounding retail in recent years. There have been plenty of stories forecasting doom and gloom for retail businesses, with some even coining the rise of e-commerce as the “retail apocalypse.”
This couldn’t be further from the truth. The world of retail may be changing, but that doesn’t mean it’s dying. Consumers are always going to buy things. That has remained true for thousands of years, and it certainly won’t change now.
Your retail business can continue to thrive in this changing environment. Here’s how to make it happen.
Commit to the Evolution of Your Retail Business:
The first step in keeping your retail business relevant is to be willing to adapt. Customers are shopping differently, and if you want them to keep shopping at your store, then you must change to fit what they want.
If you haven’t already set up an e-commerce site for your store that is optimized for both desktop and mobile devices, you need to do that. Make sure your employees also understand that changes could happen. You don’t want any of your employees being resistant to change, because that can affect morale.
It’s important to remember that your business may not be as profitable during times of change. Sometimes you need to make short-term sacrifices to preserve the future of your business.
Set New Metrics to Measure Progress:
It can be a jarring feeling when you’re altering your business model. You may find it hard to determine if the changes you’re making are working out at all, or if you’re just spinning your wheels. That’s why you should determine metrics you can use to ensure that everything is on track.
This will require some research on your part to see what the right metrics are for the changes you’re making. For example, if you’ve just started implementing more social media marketing, then you could set targets for the number of visitors you want that marketing to generate. Although everything ultimately comes back to sales, keep in mind that not everything you do will translate to sales right away. A change may build your brand, which can be very helpful even if you don’t see a big sales boost at first from it.
Get Help Where You Need It:
Just like before, the success of your retail business will hinge on having the right team. And as you expand into new areas, you’ll likely need new talent on your team. E-commerce and digital marketing both require specialized skill-sets for success.
The good news is there are plenty of ways to find people who are very tech-savvy. You could also opt for working with freelancers instead of hiring new employees, as this can save you money.
You can never be complacent when you run a retail business. With the tips above, you’ll keep customers coming back to your business even if their preferred shopping methods change.
Edward Schinik has been with the Investment Manager since 2009 and has been with one Affiliated Investment Manager since 2005.