7 Laws for Every Retail Manager Who Wants to be Even Better

Tom Jager
Guest Contributor

For retail managers, constant self-development is critical because the stakes have never been higher for the brands they represent, and a critical few points of learning emphases can greatly impact your ability to contribute.

Managing a retail business is anything but easy. Performing all roles and responsibilities – including enforcing organizational policies, running the store, managing employees, researching market trends, ordering inventory – requires wearing many hats and ensuring everything runs smoothly.

If you’ve achieved success working as a retail manager – congrats, by the way, you’re a real hero – and think you’re ready for another professional level, you’re in the right place. In this article, I’m going to share seven principles, or laws if you will, you need to follow to advance as a retail manager. These laws will give you tips you need to develop a winning retail management strategy and include the following:

  1. Learn Storytelling
  2. Master Retail Management Software
  3. Build Analytical Expertise
  4. Focus on Customer Delight as the Main Goal of In-Store Experience
  5. Build Skills of Your Employees
  6. Invest in In-Store Technology
  7. Be Prepared to Change

If you would like to know how to advance your skillset with these laws, let’s get to reading!

1 – Learn Storytelling

Storytelling is one of the latest trends in digital marketing that has already made its way into retail. In fact, retail storytelling involves creating stories that form an emotional connection with customers. An effective story is remembered for a long time and makes a brand more “human” and relevant to customers.

Entrepreneur contributor Lisa Mukhedkar, co-founder and director at Restore, recommends starting offline storytelling in your window display because it’s “the first point of non-digital interaction” and a good way to “create the right amount of curiosity.”

If you’re looking for a good example of storytelling, check out this video from Patagonia, a U.S.-based outdoor brand. They created a video where Patagonia’s customers talk about sentimental value the brand’s products had for them. Perfect advertising!

Placing posters and other promotional materials about a campaign like this in your window display would be a great first step in storytelling!

2 – Master Retail Management Software

If you want to advance in your retail management career, you must know how to operate various retail software. It automates a wide range of repetitive tasks and provides scalability, speed, data integrity, and stability for your processes.

The list of some of the most widely used retail management systems includes, but is not limited to, Square for Retail, RQ, Cegid Retail Operations, and Visual Retail Plus. Check out the list of the top 20 retail management software solutions with reviews to know what they can help you with.

3 – Build Analytical Expertise

Retailers have accumulated a lot of customer-related data and continue to collect more. If the lack of data was the issue of retailers of the past, now the big problem is conducting an appropriate analysis of the vast amount of existing data.

According to the 2017 Total Retail survey by PwC, 39 percent of retailers viewed ‘Ability to turn customer data into intelligent and actionable insight’ as one of the greatest challenges. “Analytical expertise is a key asset for today’s retailers, and the smart use of data can be a competitive advantage,” the survey quoted Denise Dahlhoff from the University of Pennsylvania as saying.

So, learn analytics such as predictive analysis from sampling to drawing conclusions and making predictions to get a competitive advantage on the labor market and advance your skillset.

4 – Focus on Customer Delight as the Main Goal of In-Store Experience

There’s a new trend in retail in-store customer experience: customer delight. While the “right” kind of customer experience strategy varies and depends on your target audiences, store, and products, the main goal should always be to make every customer’s experience in your store as positive and delightful as possible.

“A true moment of delight occurs when a customer who came to your store saw or experienced something they hadn’t before,” explains Jeff Tolliver, a marketer at Proessaywriting. “For example, they might see some items that they liked, a new idea that they developed by experimenting with your products, or a positive experience that they hadn’t hoped to experience.”

There are many ways you can achieve that, including reinventing your store, organizing treasure hunts, holding classes or events, allowing shoppers to make their own product collections such as boxes of products, or taking advantage of the latest in-store digital technology.

5 – Build Skills of Your Employees

According to the aforementioned PwC report, 78 percent of surveyed retail professionals viewed sales associates’ in-depth knowledge of products as an important factor for delivering an excellent in-store shopping experience.

Of course, you want your employees to be as helpful to customers as possible, so investing in their expertise and saying no to a long-hours culture to keep them ready to learn is simply essential.

6 – Invest in In-Store Technology

In the battle with e-commerce giants, brick-and-mortar stores are coming up with new ways to impress customers and entice them to visit. Technology is a tool they use frequently, with interactive mirrors, shelves embedded with sensors, robot guides, and augmented reality apps being some of the most prominent tools.

Many brands take it one step further with in-store retail analytics solutions that use smart cameras, software, and services that provide tons of helpful insights. For example, they can supply data and information about customer behavior, configuration of products, organization of in-store space, and other areas so you can make evidence-based decisions.

There are many examples of brands enhancing their customers’ in-store experience through various technologies and shopper interfaces. For example, check out Charlotte Tilbury’s interactive mirrors that allow customers to try the brand’s famous makeup looks.

7 – Be Prepared to Change

For the last law, I’d thought I’d emphasize the importance of being ready for change. The world of retail changes every day, so you need to adopt an appropriate mindset and cultivate a culture of adaptation in your store to make sure that upcoming changes aren’t a big problem.

Over to You

Hopefully, these tips and techniques are useful for you to become a better retail manager. Remember, a constant self-development is critical for you because the stakes have never been higher for retail brands, so having a skilled and talented manager like you would be a blessing.

About the writer: Tom Jager is professional blogger who works at A-writer. He has degree in Law and English literature. Tom has written numerous articles/online journals. You can reach him at G+ or Facebook.

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