The retail industry is currently in an era of big changes and big challenges, with no sign of it slowing down any time soon.
Retailers have to combat pressures brought on by new competition, e-commerce, an oversaturated market, and ever-changing consumer demands.
However, despite the challenging landscape, starting or expanding a business is a natural desire for many, but finding the right formula in today’s market is no easy feat.
Yet, there are many retailers all around the world that keep thriving, even when faced with adverse circumstances. They continue to gain market share, sustain profit growth and provide their customers with good shopping experiences.
The answer lies in the characteristics that these retailers share – regardless of industry sector, strategy and context.
While not all characteristics are always present in every successful retail concept, some of the traits that the majority of them share are as follows:
- They have a clear vision – successful retail concepts tend to have a strong, clear vision that allows them to connect with a core customer group. They understand their brand values and who their target customers are. This is the first essential step when defining your customer strategy, setting business goals, optimizing your marketing activity and shaping retail strategies.
- They evolve – the retailers that are winning didn’t just have overnight success with an out-of-the-box concept, they evolved over time. Through experimentation with product/merchandise mix and/or various store concepts, they refined, tweaked, and kept their concepts fresh and therefore, ahead of the competition.
- They scale – a retail brand that wants to flourish must be able to scale. Expanding your concept is an incredibly difficult challenge not only because of the cost involved, but also because it usually involves adapting the brand to be successful in different geographies.
- They localize – with few exceptions, many of the retail concepts that are doing exceptionally well are practicing localization of both their physical store formats and merchandise/product mix. In today’s retail environment, it’s becoming increasingly difficult, if not impossible, for retailers to grow by simply reproducing a one-size-fits-all store format and one-size-fits-all merchandising strategy across all locations. The leaders in the retail space demonstrate an understanding of the differences between regional, national and international customers and focus on providing the best merchandise and store experience that serve their specific needs.
- They are investing in both e-commerce and brick and mortar – retailers are being more strategic with their investments and selective with their stores, balancing both bricks and clicks. In many cases, retailers are closing poor performing stores and making sure that the store itself is assuming more of a marketing role as opposed to a pure sales role.
- They offer a seamless shopping experience – successful retailers closely integrate their online and offline channels. Omni-channel retailing is the now and the future, so, no matter how customers choose to interact with the brand, the customer experience is seamless and convenient – day or night.
- They have exciting in-store experiences – the retailers that have properly reinvented their physical stores have transformed these stores into competitive weapons and substantial growth vehicles that drive repeat visits and attract new customers.
These days the old adage of “if you build it, they will come” is far from reality. New market entry requires careful understanding of customer segments, regional preferences and site location.
The dynamic industry landscape represents a reshaping of retail where traditional business models, store formats and customer segmentations are no longer sufficient to survive.
Analytics can provide the insight behind the customer and allow business leaders to make well-founded and accurate decisions for the growth and well-being of all aspects of your company.
Struggling with growing your retail concept? If you don’t know where to start or need a partner to help optimize your efforts, let’s talk about how we can help you achieve your full potential.