Retail business is changing more than ever and will continue to struggle while restructuring their businesses. Even with the economy getting better, retail growth will continue to stay slow at abut 3% to 4% annually instead of the average 4% to 5%. This is for several reasons, one of them being the fact that consumers are expecting so much more now due to the Internet.
By targeting Baby Boomers, Hispanic Consumers and Millennial Consumers you will be headed in the right direction to stay alive.
Here are some survival tips to help small retailers survive:
Personalize Your Marketing: McKinsey’s research found that for the average consumer, peer recommendations carry 10 times more weight than a salesperson’s recommendation. Marketing your retail business on social media is a good start, but make sure you’re also encouraging customers to review your store on review and ratings sites, and to share their purchases on Facebook or other social media channels. Reach out to customers with personalized emails based on past purchasing behaviors, or target offers to social media followers who have liked or shared a product on social media. Despite McKinsey’s data, don’t ignore the power of well-informed and helpful salespeople. Older shoppers, in particular, like to get in-person help from real people. Salespeople who remember them, recall what they like and alert them when new merchandise comes in that they might be interested in. This all builds customer loyalty.
Think Small: McKinsey says the average retail store’s footprint will shrink in the coming decade as large retailers focus more on eCommerce. Small retailers can benefit from this, too. A smaller, but more carefully edited and curated store is more likely to succeed than a midsized location with a hodge-podge of items. Make every square foot of space as profitable as you can. Consider retail kiosks or small “pop-up” (temporary) locations as ways to try out new product lines or concepts.
Create an Experience, Not Just a Store: McKinsey notes that the retail environment is becoming increasingly “experiential.” For all three of the demographic groups noted above, brick-and-mortar shopping is a social activity. If you want your retail business to stand out from the big-box pack, offer unique products, deep knowledge of your products and an experience that is enjoyable and memorable. Whether by adding a refreshment bar to your store, offering in-store tailoring of clothes or holding classes to teach customers how to use the cameras you sell, going above and beyond just making the sale will be key to retail success in the coming years.
Do you have a small retail business and have you tried any of these concepts yet? How did they work out for you?