Calling all retail owners and managers!
Over time, many principles have been adopted and developed to help retail businesses become successful. The purpose of this blog is not to discuss these principles in detail, but merely to highlight a few of the important ones at the start of your journey to help you achieve your full potential in retail!
Principle 1 - Customer is VIP
The customer holds the key to every successful business. To master an understanding of your customer, there are many processes and procedures you could follow. Based on our Sales Manager Dave Albers’s 35 years of experience within the beauty industry and other service-oriented business, these principles will introduce you to the journey of making your business customer-focused and allow you to realize the potential you have to make your service business a retail success!
Therefore the main retail principle to master is the customer; the customer should be the center of your business and everything you do should revolve around your customer base! Knowing them and focusing on them in everything you do will help you grow your business and your team!
Principle 2 - Retail is Detail
One of the most famous principles in retailing is, of course, ‘Retail is detail’ and the details of running a service business is a key. This is where the challenge lies: how do you become more detailed and what detail should you focus on? To discover this, you will need to improve your understanding of your customer. Every business retailer must focus on the detailed ‘needs’ and get it right the majority of the time. Mistakes are always OK, but you should always take the opportunity to learn from them to prevent history from repeating itself. Customers will allow you some mistakes, but too many will turn them away; understanding the detail is a key still to master in retail!
Principle 3 - Understand the 4 P’s
Old is gold and this very old principle still has validity, even now in 2020! Most people have heard of this principle from trade school or university, and this retail principle will help you understand the overall foundations of a retail business. The 4 P’s: Produce, Price, Place, and Promotion; these are the main areas you need to perfect for a customer, providing them with the basic foundations of a successful service retail business!
You will need products that your customers want to buy and a product range that will satisfy your customers’ needs, wants and desires. And of course, the products must also deliver a profit for you to have a successful business.
Price must be consistent across the whole marketing mix and meeting all requirements for your business. Your need to price your project range at the correct level for the customers to be able to buy your products, and for them to gain value from your products. This could mean pricing high or low--this very much depends upon your customer offering.
There needs to be a place for the customer to visit (either in person, virtually, or both). You must provide somewhere for your customers to purchase your product--be that a physical store, a catalogue, or an e-commerce website.
Once you have a product--at the right price, in a place where the customer can access it--you need to tell them about this and promote your business and your products. You’re great, so make sure your potential customers know that you and your products exist and are available for them to enjoy.
Principle 4--Go The Extra Mile
Providing great customer service starts with understanding and knowing your customer; however, knowing them is just the start of the journey and you will need to deliver more than just customer service! To be successful, you must deliver world class customer service; you must go that extra mile for the customer. This principle is founded on years of experience with clients and working with many different teams that provide customer service. Having a total focus on the customer is the start, but to provide ‘world-class customer service’, you and your team must continually go the extra mile, each time delivering just a little more than they expect. Doing this each time, you and your team genuinely interacting with the customers will win them over and make them loyal over a long period of time.
Principle 5-- Location, location, location
In the above text, we mentioned the importance of Place. History has dictated that this is one of the most important factors in the success of a physical store, and still to this day it will have a major impact on your success. The best location of your store will be dictated by your brand and product strategies--i.e. What you intend to sell will affect the location of your store.
Secondly, and most importantly, the internet has changed our shopping habits and will continue to do so. Internet and e-commerce websites have opened up the world of ‘non-geographic’ retail--a retail world without the need to visit the physical store. Over the last 20 years, the emergence of ‘e-tail’ from ‘Retail’ has been the biggest change and will continue to transform retail over the coming decades.
You will notice that ‘e-tail’ has always been a part of the word ‘retail’--the journey from retail to e-tail has been quick, and we need to embrace the world of e-tail and ensure we understand its effects on our customers, today and in the future. The e-tail world is growing significantly and with new technologies, such as iPads and m-commerce (that is, using mobile devices to access the internet and buy products), will continue to change the shape and opportunities in the world of retail.
We hope you will found these top 5 principles of successful retail helpful? Are you a retailer with advice for up-and-coming retail owners? Share it with us on social!
Sources from Dave Albers:
Background information for this article was derived from many years of my own experiences and Antony Welfare, the “retail Inspector” Who is the author of the handbook ----The Retail Inspector.
Also, info on the article was obtained from Oppenheim report, published years ago by Robert Oppenheim former president of the ABA(American Beauty Association).