Think about the prominent characteristics of today's shopping experience:
That's why we believe that in retailing today, the real "job growth" is the "job" of being the customer!
Reflect for a moment on the definition of "value."
It is important to ask: What benefit does your customer receive for the increased "burdens" they now endure?
Where is the "value" for the customer in that?! If you don't have a good answer, you are at risk of losing those customers.
Start by understanding what your best customers consider the burdens of shopping with you.
Then, "unburden" your customers the best way you can, while increasing the benefits of their shopping experience with you.
Fewer burdens, more benefit = more value.
Or, as one of our clients likes to say, "It's not hard. Just show 'em that you love 'em!"
For some time, conventional wisdom has characterized independent retailers as "technology laggards."
Not that they are Luddites; it's just that they regarded retail technology as a major expense, especially in human capital. They often were cautious, even skeptical, about the promises of new technology being pitched to them.
When the pandemics arrived, many retailers responded rapidly and smartly. In scramble mode, some crammed five years of technology adoption into five months!
Now, as the lockdown restrictions recede, the conventional wisdom eagerly suggests that consumers of all ages will continue to rely on online shopping and other technology.
Hmm. Let's consider that "conventional wisdom" a bit more closely.
You've no doubt seen the headlines and the commentary:
Consumer spending is up, but not on what was expected, especially those publicly-traded chains that must report quarterly.
It's a given that your sales volume is a very big deal. Granted, you are analyzing it every day. But here's a slightly different approach which you may find very revealing.
Let's start with a couple truisms. The definition of retailing is “selling to the ultimate consumer.”
Retailing also is having "the right product at the right price at the right place at the right time for the right customer."
But, as retailers ponder how best to manage sales in the current consumer environment, does it really matter whether their "right customers" buy from them in-store or online?
Actually, it might! And here’s a simple, free "pilot project" to find out a little more.
Boy, are we ever impressed.
We've known for years that those who are following and/or involved with The Retail Owners Institute® are resolute, hungry, and determined. But wow! The challenges of the last year have brought out the very best in many of you.
We've heard back some of the most resourceful survival stores that we've ever heard. Here are just a few examples:
Retail IS detail. And some of those pesky details are increasingly cropping up to torment online sellers.
For example, there's the matter of managing returns. As Chris Jarvis wrote in DMM/ShoppingCenters.com*:
Meanwhile, the pure-play online retailers are confronting the ever-demanding customer expectations.
Ahh yes, yet another flexibility test. The first quarter of 2023 was full of some major events, nationally and internationally, that disrupted many business plans.
As you contemplate where you are now with your retail operation, compared to where you intended to be, don't despair! Even more important, just like you do with the GPS system in your car, disregard "returning to the prescribed route."
This is retail, after all. Change is the name of the game!
Still less than $1 a day! 👀