Opportunities for increasing retail sales – part 2

RetailThe customer revolution has arrived. The question is: as a retailer, are you equipped to capitalize on it or will you be left behind bewildered and bemoaning the change?

Today’s customer is increasingly connected to the digital information for the products and services they desire. To stay competitive, retailers must deliver a seamless customer experience across all channels – both physical and digital. Customer demands will only be fully met by integrating personnel, physical space, processes, marketing and merchandising.

A healthy retail strategy must include:

  1. A clear and consistent vision of customer needs across all channels
  2. A nimble operating model that can adapt to changes within the retail environment and customer demands
  3. A deep understanding of how to meet customer needs through innovative digital solutions and emerging retail technologies

The key is flexibility. Fulfilling the needs of today’s well-connected consumer will require some disruptive structural changes, but the payoff will be increased sales due to a strong competitive differentiation and a seamless muti-channel customer experience.

For retailers to push the boundaries of their model they should focus on three important areas:

1.  Personnel

  • Train your staff to be brand ambassadors as apposed to order-takers
  • Equip them with smartphones and tablets, and train them to use them as customer service tools (think Apple Store)
  • Empower and encourage them to use Twitter, Facebook, texting, and blogging to connect with customers.

2. Your physical space

  • Evolve your physical space from the primary point of brand contact to just one of many integrated customer channels.
  • Promote your virtual digital space as a connection point to your brand from anywhere at any time.
  • Continually evaluate your need for large real estate holdings and expensive leases.
  • Transform the aesthetics of your physical space from simply a place to transact into a compelling customer experience

3.  Technology

  • Embrace early adoption of emerging systems and tools
  • Provide real-time promotions based on customer/product proximity and known buying history
  • Capture and utilize customer data for targeted promotions and point-of-sale opportunities

Need a little inspiration for making change? Check out this website that highlights retail innovation.

 

About Mike Lake

Mike is the Senior Vice President of Marketing for Evergreen Trading. When not playing jazz trombone he is probably obsessing about writing content that will capture the attention and interest of business people and fellow learning junkies everywhere.

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