The retail market is evolving at an astronomical rate. This is due in part to ever-changing technology, however, the transformation is nothing new. The market has been wildly fluctuating over the past couple decades as the internet has come to play a large role in every-day life.
Along with technological advancements, the economic crisis and inflation over the past decade have brought about changes in the way that consumers choose to spend their money. Between those two factors, the market is more competitive than ever.
Simply put, the whole world is changing fast and the retail market is changing with it. This means that retailers, regardless of their milieu, must alter their strategies to sink or swim on the tidal wave of market revolution. Here are some strategies retailers ought to be using to keep up with the times and balance the consumer trend from in-Store to online.
Keep an Eye on Trends
If you don’t have the latest and greatest as a retailer, your customers will go somewhere else. With the market evolving so quickly, it’s easy to fall behind. For example, your largest competitor may start shipping unique products to their stores for free pickup, and if you don’t offer that option, consumers will simply buy from your competitor instead.
Whether or not you decide to jump on a bandwagon, it’s important to know what you’re up against. You certainly can’t counter new sales tactics if you’re several moves behind. Keep an eye on product offerings, shipping options, and new programs in your retail niche. Look for a way to give your customers a similar experience with your company.
Don’t Cling to Tradition
These days, consumers have access to nearly all of the information in the world at their fingertips. Research shows that more shoppers than ever are using their mobile phones to compare products and deals while they’re physically in stores. If there’s a better product or deal out there, finding it is literally a Google search away. With super-fast shipping options, it’s just as easy and usually more cost effective to have an item shipped directly to your doorstep instead of buying in-store.
Consumer expectations are changing. This means that retailers need to find that special something to give customers a reason to shop with them. Simply pushing the national brand’s products under a consumer’s nose doesn’t usually cut it anymore. Offering some sort of innovation or a unique take on the retail experience, whether it be mind-blowing prices or a top-notch shopping environment, is what helps retailers win over the consumers of today.
Innovation isn’t an option in the rapidly evolving market. You’ll need to get on board with what consumers expect from their retail experience.
Optimize for Mobile
Mobile devices mean big changes for retail. You need to make sure that your site is easy to use on mobile devices, site loading time is reasonable, and that the online ordering process is seamless from the back end as well as the front end visuals. This means that from point of order to delivery to your customer, the entire process is fast and efficient.
Since people can find the best price on every product out there with little to no effort on a device that fits in their pocket, competitive pricing is an absolute necessity. That’s tough to do in a world where running a business is more expensive than ever. Cutting expenses has always been a fairly sound business practice, but it’s more essential than ever in this revolutionary retail climate. Slowed growth in the retail sector is the new normal. Businesses have to find a way to do more with less.
Using Great Logistics to Bridge the Gap
Contracting a great fulfillment company is an effective way to shore up retail business practices in today’s market. Here’s how:
- Widen Product Offerings: If the amount of products your company is able to offer is limited by the warehouse or backroom space your business owns or leases, contracting fulfillment services might be in your best interest. It can allow you to offer more product variety without the shelf space. This increased product offering may help you to drum up new business if you’re using the additional capacity to offer a wide array of unique products. This is in keeping with national brands who are shifting their spending from securing shelf space in brick-and-mortar stores to online advertisements, as well. Their ad dollars could potentially direct traffic to your online store.
- Improve Efficiency: Customer expectations of efficiency have changed a lot, and the logistics industry has rapidly evolved to accommodate these new expectations. A look into retail giant Amazon’s super-fast shipping options like overnight and even same-day delivery shows that the ante has really been upped. The average retail company is bound to have trouble keeping up with this level of efficiency. Fulfillment services can help get your product to your customer faster. They are experts in order fulfillment and have systems already in place to improve your order to delivery processes.
- Cut Costs: The improved efficiency of fulfillment services can help you cut costs in several business sectors including staffing costs and real estate. Full-service fulfillment companies may offer much more than simply warehousing and fulfillment of orders, as well. A great fulfillment firm may be able to help improve your ordering process, keep track of inventory and trends in your niche, and take over customer service within the logistics side of your business. You can use data-driven market research to determine which services are right for your company and can cut your business’ expenses the most.