What Competitive Retailers Ask Themselves to Stay Ahead
Customer needs and expectations constantly evolve, so retailers that want to stay competitive need to be adaptive and ready to respond quickly to these shifts. Here are the questions these retailers ask themselves every day to stay agile and ready for anything:
1. How are the shopping habits of customers changing? With the advent of omni-channel and the almost daily changes in those technologies, customer habits are changing with it. How are your customers’ shopping habits changing? Are you observing? Tracking? Looking at trends? Are you able to give them services they want?
2. How efficiently and effectively do you upsell? Upselling is a huge competitive advantage (and a waste if you’re not), and upselling must begin with being able to capture what your customers are buying or are interested in. Are you able to jump on these opportunities quickly at the point of sale and online?
3. Which channel is your customers’ favorite? Omni-channel customers want multiple communication options, but generally they gravitate towards some more than others. Do you know which channels your customers are using the most, and are you focusing on making the most of those channels with campaigns and promotions as well as the right infrastructure to make them convenient?
4. Do you have reward loyal customers? One loyal customer is worth five "opportunity" customers, so if you’re not doing so already, you need to reward loyal customers. Put a loyalty program in place…but be warned: Make sure it’s a loyalty program that truly fits your customers’ likes and makes them feel special, not annoyed and frustrated, as many loyalty programs end up doing. If you already have a loyalty program in place, are you checking regularly to see if your customers are happy with it?
5. Are you utilizing social media appropriately and to its fullest? To answer this, you must first determine if your customers are social. If so, then hopefully, you’re using social media not only to display your wares and monitor feedback, but also to launch new products or promote specific offers or events—whatever fits your customer demographic.
6. Is your technology right for the job? Being an omni-channel retail operation is not a simple task—and not just any software can deliver the technology to help you pull it off smoothly. Most software can do part of the job, but not all of it, so you end up with disparate systems that have a hard time talking to each other, making more work for you. You need a complete, end-to-end business management solution that will implement smoothly, have the flexibility to fit your business, and can take care of everything from the back office to the POS.