Not Knowing Your Customers Well
Rather than trying to attract new customers all the time, you are much better off trying to inspire loyalty in your existing clients. After all, they have already bought from your business and have a better idea of what you are all about. Unfortunately, too many retailers are focusing all their attention on trying to bring new customers through the door, and this is a common cause of frustration which is likely to make people look for a business which treats them better and values them more.
If you are just about to set your business up, it is important that you take the time to profile who your ideal customer is and how you can sell to them. If you already run a business, you should think about how you are going to incentivise customers to keep coming back. It could be by creating a loyalty scheme or offering discount codes. Otherwise, it could be through the simple act of getting to know them better personally so that they feel like they a receiving a service that they can’t get elsewhere.
Choosing the Wrong Location
Even though many businesses are run online these days, you still shouldn’t underestimate the importance of location to retail companies. Choosing an area with a high footfall is the top of the wishlist for many retailers, though you may focus on a place that people can drive their cars to where the rents are lower. If you are on the verge of setting up your retail business, it is certainly worth looking at who your competitors are and what sort of people tend to visit the local area. Choosing the wrong location can end up signalling the death knell for your business before you have even properly gotten started.
Not Updating Your Product Range
People need an excuse to keeping coming back to your shop time and time again, and if your product range is stale and hasn’t been updated in a long time, you are simply not providing them with the reason that they require. There are plenty of ways that you can find your next product line such as at a gift fair exhibitors, but your need to ensure that it fits in with your target market. When you have a new product line, it is worth shouting about in your marketing and advertising activities. Staying fresh and innovative is one of the keys to running a successful business, and your customers will recognise and appreciate this fact.
A Lack of Creativity
It is the businesses that are constantly innovating and coming up with new ways to impress and inspire their customers which are the ones which are most likely to stand the test of time. Perhaps this is through offering a click and collect service. It could be through holding regular store events. Maybe you want to put heavy focus on your social media activities to ensure that these are always fresh and exciting. These days, you can’t just rely on the same old stale marketing activities to bring people through the doors. It has to be a service which goes over and above what they can find on the internet.
Not Taking Steps to Improve Efficiency
All businesses thrive on efficiency, and if you are not taking steps to improve the running of your company, you will find that your competitors will be. Many businesses rely on tech to provide their business with efficiency, whether this is through investing in new software to improve the back-end of your store or hardware which makes the lives of your staff members a little bit easier. But you should also sit down on a regular basis to brainstorm different ideas of how you can improve the efficiency of your business. It is worth getting the input of the rest of your team as they will be coming in with an entirely different perspective to yourself and may be able to spot things that you can’t.
Offering Too Many Discounts
While providing discounts is a great way to bring customers to your business, you need to make sure that everything is properly costed and you are not offering savings which are completely unaffordable and could end up putting your company in jeopardy. Not only this, low prices are sometimes associated with low quality, and this is not the kind of impression that you want to be giving off. When you do choose to offer discounts, make sure that they are all fully costed and that you promote them through clever and innovative marketing techniques.
Taking Customers for Granted
Perhaps the worst sin of all which no retail business can afford to commit is taking your customers for granted. One of the things that customers hate the most is being treated badly, so you need to make sure that your hiring policy is comprehensive and doesn’t risk taking people on board who don’t represent your company in the most positive light. Good retail employees should be able to manage the questions and complaints of your clients in equal measure, while also being able to provide recommendations which are based on listening carefully to their needs and preferences.
Negative Messages in Ads and Promotions
In the age of social media when reactions are instant and anything has the capability of going viral, you need to ensure that you carefully sidestep any negative messages in adverts and promotions that you put out there. Even the biggest brands have fallen into the trap of putting out campaigns which have been considered racist, sexist, discriminatory, violent, or containing political elements. Work closely with your marketing team and try to approach your campaigns from every angle. One misstep could see you damaging your business reputation in a way that is very difficult to come back from.
Returning to the point that we made at the start of the article, retail businesses can be very difficult to run these days, and it is important that you avoid making mistakes as much as possible. These were just a few of the traps that you should avoid falling into. Ultimately, since it is so difficult to compete with the internet giants on price, you need to be finding ways to better them in the experience that you can provide to your customers. You need also need to work closely on your business promotion and innovation to give your customers the excuse that they need to keep coming back to you. And in an age of instant opinions and quickly damaged reputations, you need to strike the right balance between being cautious and forward-thinking.