The big players in the retail business seem to be guessing the importance of the online presence and that the key to a successful strategy for the future is the mixed approach. They are making strategic steps towards online, with the purpose to improve their bottom lines.
This doesn’t stop them from further opening brick and mortar stores with a high pace, as if the situation in the USA with the decreasing traffic, the thousands of stores closed and bankruptcies filed, didn’t happen.
Moreover, the services they offer in the stores are average, the shopping experience is most of the time unpleasant. Clients return for the only reason that they got used to that and do not have other options on hand. Unfriendly sales personnel, dirty floors, articles missing from the stock, are facts that are still accepted and ignored by the X generation. The millennials though, who are the clients of the near future, expect something different.
How would a success strategy for the next five years look like?
Multi channel strategy
Means experiential offline through a combination between technology and interactions with experienced consultants. The sales strategy will be planned omnichannel, offline and online together, with combined services. The traffic will decrease in the stores, the clients will purchase more online. They will be willing to spend less time on shopping, in a way that brings more meaning and value to them.
Why would they come to your store instead of having drinks with their friends?
Maybe you get the idea to offer them drinks in your store. In the meantime also invite them to try on some crazy outfits and take pictures. #coffeinstyle would be an appropriate hashtag to use for Instagram. Next week you send them a printed picture, just to be reminded how great it is to visit your store.
Don’t forget to take their contacts to send them cool outfits from time to time. The personal data is and will still be the most valuable asset.
—Did you tried this tricks in your store? increase right now your offline sales with 7 quick wins!—
Sustainability of the processes
The company will have to choose, communicate and live it’s story and mission. Nobody wants nowadays to buy from a seller whose only purpose is to fill his pockets. The mission has to be clear communicated through all the channels and most important it has to be authentic. Walk the talk. The story and the mission should be reflected in all your actions, the format of the stores, behavior of the employees, design of the products and online and offline communication. With all the social platforms available, clients find out soon if it is just image, or you truly live what you say.
The offered products will be mostly own brand, because this is the only way how you can control all your processes and make sure that the chain is aligned with the values you share. Furthermore, this products will be available just in your stores, they will be unique and your clients will not have the possibility to compare prices and maybe find them cheaper somewhere else. This is why you will be able to achieve higher margins
The sustainable production process, with ecological materials and focus on respecting the human rights will be a must in the near future.
Empathic management with freelancing contractors and home-office
The employer brand is more and and more of a buzzword. If people hear that you exploit your employees, they will not buy from your stores and you will also have difficulties to find collaborators. Your image, the internal communication, company culture, will play a key role to your success. Your collaborators will be the first to recommend you and they will turn alongside your customers to influencers.
Home office will be something normal and it will help companies to decrease the overhead costs, employees will be more engaged due to the flexibility of the schedule, which will lead to increased bottom line.
I am an optimist, can’t help myself. I see changed mentalities and companies who will make a positive impact in their communities. Customer will be happy to have them around and support them by buying their products. Did I inspire you? Waiting for your thoughts on this.
Do you need ideas how to improve your customer experience? I offer you 7 suggestions.
Are you managing a team? Click here to discover 5 tips to help new managers.
Do you wish more insights about sales? Click here for managing expectations of the clients.
Contact me if you want a fresh perspective on your business strategy. If you are not convinced yet, follow me on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram and subscribe to the newsletter to make sure you will get all the articles related to management best practices, quick wins ideas of how to improve the customer experience and increase the sales for your retail business. If you like the thoughts I wrote and find them useful, share them to your network!