How Do Retailers Stay Competitive? Six Questions to Ask
Customers are a moving target, especially in retail. Their needs and expectations are in constant flux, depending on trends, technology, the economy, and other factors. Retailers’ biggest challenge is how to respond and adapt quickly to stay competitive. Ask these six questions to keep your finger on the pulse of customer needs.
1. How are the shopping habits of your customers changing?
Multiple sales channels and constantly refined technology can cause customer shopping habits to change quickly. Are you keeping track of how your customers’ habits are changing, and what are you doing to stay on top of those changes?
2. What are their preferred channels?
Omnichannel customers want multiple communication options but generally gravitate towards some more than others. Do you know which channels your customers use the most, and are you focusing on making the most of those channels with campaigns and promotions with the right infrastructure to make them convenient?
3. Are you utilizing social media appropriately and to its fullest?
This ties into channel preference. First, determine where your customers are on social and how they use it. Then you can determine how best to capitalize on social media to not only market and sell, but also offer rewards and incentives to retain loyal customers and solicit valuable feedback. If you’re only using social media to display your products, you’re missing out on other opportunities to build your brand and make it part of your customer’s lifestyle, so they become part of your tribe.
4. How well are you taking advantage of upselling?
Upselling is a huge competitive advantage many retailers don’t take advantage of. You first must understand what your customers are buying or showing interest in to quickly make the appropriate offer at the point of sale, whether in-store or online. Today’s technology makes it easier to quickly get your customer’s profile and suggest additional purchases, which can be a significant additional revenue stream for you while building brand loyalty.
5. How are you rewarding loyal customers?
Statistics tell us that one loyal customer is worth five “opportunity” customers. In other words, you get more from investing in nurturing your relationship with a current customer, and the best way to do this is with loyalty programs. However, it’s critical be make sure your loyalty programs truly fit your customers’ likes and make them feel special rather than just badgered with irrelevant offers and communications—something many programs do. Get the data you need to craft appropriate programs, then monitor them to ensure they hit the mark.
6. Do you have the right technology to address the six questions to help retailers stay competitive?
In today’s omnichannel environment, where customers have many choices and are more informed and savvy, surviving and thriving as a retailer is more of a challenge than ever. Technology is key to answering the six questions to help retailers stay competitive. Not just any software can deliver what you need to juggle all these issues, and disparate systems that address only one or two can complicate things even further.
Look to ArcherPoint and LS Retail
You need a complete, end-to-end business management solution that can do everything—from the back office to the POS—but with the flexibility to fit how you do business. If your business technology isn’t equipped to help you address all these questions, look at the combination of LS Central and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. They deliver one common database and a unified solution. ArcherPoint is a leading Microsoft and LS Retail solution partner and can offer expertise on how you can answer all these questions with a unified retail solution.