In today’s retail environment, the retail channel is being utilized by most retailers worldwide. Although the traditional outlet store marketing strategies continue to play a key role in boosting sales, the modern retail channel has evolved to become a highly competitive market with increased competition from online retail stores, super-stores, and discounters. To successfully compete in this challenging retail channel, retailers need to make strategic and informed retail decisions that address not only the immediate profitability needs of their business but those needs that will guide their company into the future as well.
Income and consumer behavior: building marketing strategy that works
The primary drivers of sales in today’s retail environment are customer behavior and discretionary income. Customer behavior dictates the type of retail product they purchase and the channels they use. Buyers typically spend more at a neighborhood superstore but spend less at a mom-and-pop store specializing in selling name-brand products. Discontinued or low-selling brand products can drive a retail buyer to your store, offering added discounts or special promotions. A knowledgeable and experienced retail buyer will also seek opportunities to purchase additional products currently selling at discount prices or off the shelves of discontinued or overstocked name brands.
Another driver of sales is the amount of time that a customer spends at a given retail outlet. A customer will choose a retailer based mainly on the amount of time they spend at the store. If a prospective customer leaves the store without purchasing any merchandise, they will not likely return. As such, an intelligent retailer understands their customer’s needs and creates a retail strategy to capture their time. Many customers purchase multiple items at one time, such as electronics or gift cards.
Customer Service Players An Important Role Among Other Factors That Drive Sales
The third driver of sales is customer service. A good retailer offers knowledgeable and helpful staff to address customer needs and manage them efficiently. As such, a great deal of time is spent interacting with customers in-store. This not only helps to keep existing customers happy; but can also lead to new purchases from a customer seeking to experience a positive shopping experience.
Another driver of sales is inventory turnover. If a store has an excellent selection of merchandise, it can easily maintain a high level of customer satisfaction. However, great merchandise doesn’t sell itself. A knowledgeable and experienced retail professional can help inventory managers identify current merchandise that is moving slowly and high-selling items that may not have been selling.
A final driver of sales is the number of people who can visit a given store. Each customer has a different expectation of what they want when entering a store. For some customers, it’s the ambiance, while for others, it’s the quality of the product. The quality of customer service may be directly related to the number of people who can access a store at one time. When there are limited parking spaces or limited store hours, it becomes crucial to attract customers by offering activities and events that keep them happily shopping.
With all of these drivers in motion, a retail store can enjoy higher sales and a more positive cash flow. In order to create a positive cash flow, management must continually assess each aspect of the store and develop a comprehensive retail marketing plan. This plan should include an extensive sales and customer service program. When combined with other elements, a retail marketing plan can help increase profitability and build a positive image.
Developing a marketing and event strategy for a particular store is only the first step. Once the marketing plan is created, the channel will need to develop a plan to execute the plan. A retail location that does not attract customers will quickly lose sales. Management needs to make sure that the entire marketing mix is leveraged in order to create the greatest volume of sales. Proper execution of the marketing plan will help to improve profitability and increase store traffic.