Retailers should do some of everything now. They have to wear a variety of hats-a a corporate strategist, an owner/operator, an industry analyst, an investor, an account manager, a salesperson, an internet marketer, an eCommerce expert, and a store manager.
All of these roles require new skills that might be learned while running a retail business-particularly developing new store concepts. They also require an appreciation of how the retail environment is changing and what must be done to adapt.
But running a retail business requires a different skillset than what was required of those in earlier business planning or management positions. Retail is a much faster-paced environment with very limited customer time. For starters, there are no more in-store inventory items.
Everything must be carried in-house and on-site inventory moves at a pace of real-time-that is, as fast as the movement of the registers themselves. The days of building up supply before sales are over-not an efficient way to run a retail store today. As such, the retailer needs to learn how to operate in a build mode, not just in buy mode.
It is common in retail stores for merchandise to be stored on-site, in a cabinet, or aisles within the building. However, this no longer has to be the case. Today’s consumers expect to see their favorite brands, the latest products, and all of the newest items right in front of them at the register.
Retailers are therefore advised to think about implementing a camera system into their stores. This will not only allow customers to easily locate products by category and brand, but it will also allow them easy access to their checkout counters. We also suggest that you take a long look at this Custom Kiosk idea on storeworks.com.
A growing trend in retailing today is e-commerce or e-shopping. With more people are shopping online than ever before, having a properly designed website is crucial. Without a well-designed and optimized website, the retailer is not taking full advantage of the web’s power.
If they don’t have a website that is designed properly, they are already knowing that their competitors are getting an edge on them through the internet; a disadvantage that no business can afford to become part of. As far as running a successful retail store is concerned, one has to be aware of all of the competition in the market.
This is where the knowledge of e-commerce becomes important. If you aren’t properly geared to respond to the modern trends in retailing, then you could be setting yourself up for failure-a common problem among newer retailers. One of the great things about retailing today is the fact that consumers can shop at any time of the day.
This ability to shop at any time of the day opens up opportunities for retailers to take advantage of a customer’s impulse. If a customer is browsing the internet, then a retailer can offer them an impulse buy.
These impulse buys come in the form of a sales transaction, and they can be as simple as browsing the website and deciding to make a purchase, to something as elaborate as making a purchase over the phone or through a mobile app. The most successful retail stores are those that understand how to use technology and the latest tools to sell their products.
The more up-to-date a retailer is with their website, the better chance they will have to get a good amount of sales transaction through their website. Technology is really becoming an integral part of what makes or doesn’t make a profit for many retailers. The ability for customers to perform multiple tasks online is creating incredible opportunities for retail stores.
Running a retail store requires a lot of preparation and research. Retail stores need to know their competitors, the demographics of their area, and what types of products are selling well in that location. Being prepared for the future of their business also requires retailers to look at the big picture.
They have to see themselves ten years down the road and think about how their merchandise is performing today, not just the last six months or year. Retailers also have to be ready to deal with all of the changes in the global economy, especially the recent economic turmoil in the United Kingdom.