Market Awareness

Building a Strong Retail Foundation

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As we talked about previously, retailers are constantly concerned about the factors surrounding sales losses. We get it, maintaining profits and reaching sales goals is tough, but it’s a misstep for retailers to blame outside forces. We know foot traffic is falling in stores across the nation due to e-commerce but that isn’t the entire reason why you’ve missed your sales goal.

Let’s face it, many store operations miss the basics.

When shopping at retail store, customers are looking for an experience and to gain an emotional connection with what they are buying. This is one advantage that stores hold over e-commerce. Whereas e-commerce has convenience and efficiency, brick and mortar creates an experience for a consumer. In order to create that experience for a customer, your store needs to have three things:

  1. Knowledgeable employees: Sales associates are tasked with maintaining a clean sales floor, having a comprehensive knowledge of products, and selling to customers. Having a team that is well trained on how to assist customers is crucial. They need to add to the experience by making the shopper journey easy and anticipating customer wants.
  2. Having a well-stocked store: We harp on this in blogs a lot, but oftentimes stores don’t have a successful product supply chain. From the shelf level, to back stock, to anticipating sales, you need to have the product on hand and ready to be purchased.
  3. Have competitive pricing: There are so many reports about online pricing wars now. Big box retailers are attempting to keep up with Amazon’s margins. Brick and mortar retailers should be aware of pricing, but create a buying culture that doesn’t surround bottom-barrel pricing. Instead, remaining up to date on prices while also maintaining good margins will attract consumers over competitors.

Retailers are going through a revival. First quarter earnings for stores are up, and consumers are still favoring shopping in-store rather than online. Despite the apocalyptic warnings, there are still ways to optimize sales in-store.  

Editor’s Note: Contributing writer is Gabrielle Winant. This post was originally published in May 2017 and has since been updated and refreshed for readability and accuracy.

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