Like a retail business plan or inventory management organization, it’s critical for businesses to develop coherant retail growth strategies. Whether you’re trying to stay afloat or push your SMB to the next level, always think about ways to improve. Unfortunately, many small businesses have great products, incredible passion, and plenty of hard work, but have yet to find large-scale success. Operating a profitable business takes many factors so it’s vital to pursue a great growth strategy.
- Advertise Your SMB on Google
- Take Advantage of Holidays for Retail Growth
- Put Your Business on the Map
- Get on Social Media
- Provide Value to Your Customers
- Stay Up to Date with Industry Changes
- Expand Your Retail Reach
- Build a Retail Growth Strategy with Great Branding
- Analyze Your Cash and Spending with Strategic Planning
- Adjust Your Pricing Strategy
- Keep Your Customer Data Safe
Start with the free stuff. Index your website and all updates with the search engine so that you’re more easily found by shoppers. Add your business listing to Google My Business so that you show up in location-based searches. All basic business info will also be listed on the side of any Google search page, making it easy for potential shoppers to find you.
Paid advertising on Google is also an option. Depending on your business, Google Adwords might add to your content marketing.
The major holidays are typically huge retail days. The average consumer is off work and free to go out shopping. Hopefully, you’ve ran promotions, hosted events, or at least decorated your store to celebrate a holiday. Test out different discounts and deals on each holiday to see what brings in more customers. Like any retail promotion, just be sure to carefully measure your bottom line.
There are also smaller “holidays” every day of the year. Today, on the publishing of this blog, it happens to be National Gummy Worm Day and National Pet Fire Safety Day. We’d probably be more likely to celebrate the former, but it goes to show, you have some options. Have some fun with it and make your store more unique.
Don’t go too hard, but find a way to get on shoppers’ radar. In the crowded field of retail in 2019, it’s vital that you stand out from the field. Host events, classes, demonstrations, parties, etc. that will draw in a crowd. Sponsor local sports, newspapers, festivals, and charities.
At the very least, a great retail marketing strategy will increase your foot traffic and grow your revenue in the long-term.
Let’s face it, social media is here to stay. There are new platforms all the time and they each provide a way to reach a unique audience. And, while there are paid avenues that many businesses take, getting started and having a basic presence is completely free. Better yet, it’s easy to use!
Businesses should use social media to both keep existing customers engaged and to draw in new business. It’s the right space to offer gifts, host contests, and get customer feedback. Get creative and use the space to grow your brand and increase awareness.
Use Yelp or other review sites to build trust around your brand. Again, there are advertising opportunities on these sites.
Not only should you offer your customers products that they desire, but you also need to offer them value in other areas.
Start by improving your in-store experience. Make the shopping experience more interactive and fun, train your staff to be knowledgeable and helpful, and make the checkout experience pleasant and convenient.
Add value to your online presence. Create a blog that is relevant to your customers’ interests. Try to educate shoppers on things that are important to keep in mind. Create email lists that you can use to disseminate information or offer special deals.
Overall, think about ways that you can personalize the experience to keep a strong connection between brand and shopper.
Stay at the cutting edge of retail and your retail niche. Knowing the direction of the industry will give you more direction, helping you set reasonable goals, target your marketing, and boost your sales.
Stay up to date by following relevant social media accounts, reading publications relevant to your market, and researching market trends. For instance, keep up with modern payment forms to make sure that your store is equipped with the latest payment technology.
Most businesses start by opening a brick and mortar location. But, of course, there are many more channels available for selling your product.
Make a plan to open an eCommerce site to expand your customer base. An online store is integral to retail growth. Plan your inventory and ordering carefully beforehand to make sure that you can handle the increase in business.
Many businesses now sell products on social media accounts. Facebook and Instagram have popular online marketplaces that have more shoppers every year.
Consider selling as a third-party on popular eCommerce sites, like Amazon and WalMart. While you may take less profit, online selling channels bring you more brand and product awareness and a wider audience.
Finally, no matter how far you expand, get a retail point of sale that keeps all inventory and sales consolidated between channels. This prevents harmful out-of-stocks and makes sure your data and metrics are accurate.
Make your brand and image unique and memorable. Get creative with your advertising, social media accounts, logo, and motto. Crowdsource some new ideas by talking to your team or regular customers to see what changes resonate more than others.
Improve your branding by changing your product line to match what your typical customer desires. Pay attention to repeat customer complaints about not having a certain product. If you notice trends, react to them by stocking your shelves with new items. If you don’t feel like they fit in with your brand, adjust your brand accordingly.
While it’s important for business owners to pay themselves, you always want to be investing money back into improving and growing your company.
For most improvements to your growth strategy, you’ll need cash. It might not be the most fun thinking about, but saving cash for future improvements is a great place to start. Budget smaller expenses so that you know where every dollar is going. These changes will add up to big differences over time.
Strategic planning with your cash flow is different than a business plan. Treat it as an ongoing business plan once your store is established.
Finding an optimal pricing strategy throughout your store is a critical process. And not easy. You want to find the sweet spot of balancing your profit margins with foot traffic. Price your products too high and you’ll have few customers actually making a purchase; price too low and your store doesn’t make enough profit.
Use your inventory management system on your POS to identify trends and measure sales metrics. Advanced inventory analytics can rank your product by productivity and sales performance. If you notice certain products with lower grades, consider repricing them or taking them off your shelves completely.
Be very careful when changing pricing or running a promotion/sale. It’s easy to overlook large-scale effects. A price drop of 5 cents might seem trivial, but if you sell 300 of them everyday, the difference will cost you over $5k each year.
If you do move into the world of eCommerce or have a comprehensive loyalty program, it’s important that you keep all customer data safe and secure. Check that your credit card processor maintain PCI compliance for all transactions.
For brick and mortar retailers, get a cloud-based POS system that keeps data secure in remote servers. Add modern payment options that use tokenization, making fraud much more difficult.
There are too many security breaches in today’s retail world. And when they happen, shoppers lose trust in that brand. Not only will you be on the hook for large penalties and fines, but you’ll also lose business. Keep a steady growth strategy by avoiding disasters such as this.