Composing a Retail Survival Strategy

Michael Gorman
Guest Contributor

To survive in today's challenging and competitive retail market, you need to think of the shopping experiences you provide, and once you’ve determined the quality and significance of those experiences, you can calibrate your store and set up the ideal atmosphere to attract and retain shoppers.

Thankfully for shoppers around the world, retail is far from dead. However, when you see more and more once well-established retail brands fail, it’s hard to find why.

If you’re the owner of a retail brand, it’s difficult to stay calm when you’re looking at all those failed ventures. To ensure you maintain a steady growth rate, your brand needs a survival strategy.

In this article, we’ll cover all the key points and reasons you need to know to create and deploy an effective strategy. Apply them successfully and your retail brand will endure all the novelties and changes in your niche. Retail isn’t dead – it just changed, and so should you.

The importance of convenience

Brick-and-mortar retail, as a form of service provision and product sales, has one distinct disadvantage when compared to e-commerce. Many times, it doesn’t seem convenient at all, does it?

With e-commerce, all you have to do is choose your ideal product or service, enter your data and order the product to arrive at your doorstep. It’s the perfect sales method for modern times. Nobody wastes time and people are happy with the results.

If you provide your customers with a convenient experience and a full immersion into your brand, you will easily survive. The main selling point of all retailers should be a “no obstacles whatsoever” approach.

If we had to pinpoint the exact culprit for the disappearance of many retailers, it would have to be the lack of a compelling shopping experience. The notion of experience as a thing you can sell brings us to our first step when composing a strategy.

Sell the experience

E-commerce is entirely devoid of any more significant experience. No matter how exciting the price or the product may be, the method is always the same. If you’re the owner of a retail store, you have a unique opportunity to capitalize on the space.

Space requires presence, and that results in an experience. Websites offer only a fraction of what you can accomplish and experience in a retail store.

Let’s take Nike for example. You would think that the world’s leading sportswear company is shifting towards an e-commerce business approach, but that still isn’t the case.

With exclusive experiences like the Nike SOHO Lab in NYC, they are selling a premium experience that you won’t be able to find anywhere else in the world. This is precisely what draws shoppers – the experience that they feel is entirely unique to that place. 

How can you sell an experience, exactly?

  • Differentiate yourself from the competition. You might sell the same product, but you can use your retail store differently.
  • Study the stores and designs of your successful competitors. Where do they position their products? How do they present them? By placing your products the right way, you can easily turn a regular shopping trip into a premium experience for the entire family.
  • Don’t mention the product right away. Let your store be a neutral facility where your customers can find not your product, but a solution to their problems and needs. This search is a key element when selling an experience. Make this search fun and engaging and you will be able to sell your product and establish a customer retention strategy.

The environment is everything

It might be easy to change your mind about buying a product online, but the entire atmosphere of a retail store makes it much harder to say ‘no. ‘

Perhaps the most important key to surviving in the modern-day retail market is fine-tuning your store’s aesthetics and overall environment to make it easier to sell the experience.

  • Use high-definition images of your products, both in the windows of your store and on the inside. Powerful, high-quality imagery gives you an opportunity to show your product in a new light, causing some shoppers to change their perspective.
  • Make the music hearable, but not too loud. If your store is silent, there won’t be a fluctuation of people and the room will seem much bigger and emptier than it actually is. Avoid making the music overly loud because your employees won’t be able to talk to the shoppers at all. Don’t opt for just radio hits. Prioritize atmosphere, and make sure the music fits the style of the store.
  • Add product descriptions to each exhibit. You can outsource these precise depictions from a custom essay writing service like GradeMiners review. It’s important to provide as much information as you can so that you effectively inform shoppers and prepare them for the moment of purchase.

Put a lot of thought into a possible redesign of your store. If business hasn’t been going well, you should try rebranding before making any hasty decisions like selling the store. Be committed to creating the ultimate environment. Think of the smallest details that might end up making an impression.

For example, you can add plants to offset the modern/industrial design of your store. Play with different solutions to make everyone who enters your store feel comfortable and at peace.

Marketing is still important

When you’re done thinking of an experience to sell and setting up the right atmosphere, it’s time to consider a digital marketing strategy.

Retail stores can often advertise much more easily than e-commerce sites due to the factor of surprise. There will always be that moment of suspense between the moment a person hears about your store and the time of visit.

  • A good idea would be to establish a solid presence on all social media channels. Make sure you assume a brand identity and run with it seriously. You need a brand voice that is always the same, a voice that reflects the ideas and the culture of your brand.
  • If you want to be number one, you have to provide more than just products and opportunities. Provide your followers with informative content about your products and the niche you’re operating in. This is also known as preparatory customer service. You are educating customers and preparing them for the use of your product in particular.
  • Be creative. Include case studies, infographics and other forms of interesting content that someone might find useful. Numbers have a powerful psychological effect on the mind. Whenever we see numbers presented as proof for a claim, we are inclined to believe them. Only use verified statistics for your posts.

The very best retail stores operate with the same aggressiveness as e-commerce sites do. All you need is to perform regular instances of keyword research and constantly track your campaigns and their performance.

Provide the best shopper service

Here is another advantage of physical retail over e-commerce – contact with real people. Polite and skilled staff can always be the difference between a person deciding to buy a product or not. Make sure every member of your team is specifically trained for the position. You don’t want your employees to stare blankly at shoppers when asked a question.

Prioritize immediate action, efficient problem solution and retention through gaining trust. Include loyalty programs and special promotions for regular customers.

Things like gift cards, discount codes and freebies are a great way of serving the customer. If there is a problem with a purchase or if a customer is dissatisfied, your entire team must know how to act and how to find the optimal solution.

It is this factor that ends up being the last and most vivid impression a customer has before exiting your store. Invest effort and you will see them returning again.

Concluding thoughts

If you want to survive in the challenging and competitive retail market, you need to think of the shopping experience you provide. Once you’ve determined the quality and significance of that experience, you can calibrate your store and set up the ideal atmosphere to attract and retain customers.

After completing all of this, you need to focus on marketing and provide the best customer service. Always try to provide something extra. This mindset is precisely what separates the best retail stores from ones that are just good.

About the writer: Michael Gorman is a professional content writer and business advisor who successfully developed the notion of using an essay writing service as a content marketing tool for retail stores. He suggests retailers should look for assignment help online or buy college essays online and turn them into supreme content for both online and offline use. Through his seminars and blog posts, Michael has convinced hundreds of entrepreneurs into using a thesis proposal writing service for optimal business solutions. Feel free to contact him via Facebook or check his Twitter.

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