A new year is here, and it’s an ideal time to review your business practices in addition to your personal goals. The retail industry has seen many changes in the last decade, and whether you’re running a brick and mortar store or an online shop, there are always a few key areas to keep an eye on.
Take Advantage of an ERP System
The retail industry has stayed relatively static with operations and management practices for a long time. Sellers and suppliers used to determine what consumers should buy and how they can shop. Now, customers are the driving force for the shopping experience, and if you don’t meet their needs, it’s easy to browse for competitors who will. It’s important to use data to your advantage and seek business management software support that can help integrate and inform all areas of your business.
IWI Consulting Group provides leading retail management solutions and omnichannel platforms. They include the top enterprise resource planning systems operating in the cloud for secure and accurate data collection, analysis, and easy access for employees in all departments. Our consulting experts can help you tailor a solution and train your teams to use it effectively, with assessments to implement sustainable and scalable retail management systems.
Improve Your Look
Whether you’re an online store or a brick-and-mortar, you know presentation is key. Keeping this look current matters. What was stylish and impressive a few years ago isn’t going to be today. Easy navigation, discovery, and the ability to quickly find what one is looking for is also pivotal, whether that’s an in-person visit or a web one.
You have your own branding and style that may dictate colours and décor. In general, also keep in mind for interiors:
- letting the products and not your space be the focal point
- shoppers need to navigate the space with ease
- make it easy to spot products of all types
- install quality lighting
- have examples out to touch, smell, and hold
- create a path starting on the right
- if you have multiple rooms, place similar categories together
For more tips, see this Shopify article.
For your website, keep it simple. The design shouldn’t need to change often because it should be so sleek and clean that it lasts. Ease of navigation, great organization, fast-loading pages, and displaying all the relevant information, including high-resolution images and prices, are the most important aspects. This isn’t the time to use an experimental or artsy theme that looks neat but is confusing to use.
For either type of store, try to avoid very of-the-moment trends that will quickly fizzle, unless you have the budget to make frequent changes. Staying current doesn’t mean changing your layout every other week. Research best practices.
Train Staff Effectively
A lot of money goes into designing and building a store or site that works. To have a customer’s experience fall flat at the level of service is a shame. Training staff is more than just teaching them to say hello, use the register, and setting scary sales goals they must meet during their shift. Taking time to properly train and practice selling techniques that specifically suit your brand and your customers’ preferences is important.
Know Your Competitor
You may know who your competition is and what they sell but also perform an in-depth investigation. Visit their store or their site and spend ample time there. Look at what they’re doing in terms of offerings and prices, but also staff, designs, organization, displays, etc. Are they taking advantage of something you’re missing? Are they attempting something you know you can execute better?
When you need help implementing an ERP system that can help your retail store bring it all together, IWI Consulting Group is here. You can contact us for more information today and let us know your business software needs.