Why Is It Good For Business?
Retail is the method of selling consumer products or services directly to customers via multiple retail channels to make a profit. Retailers meet demand identified by a supply chain, usually involving distributors, wholesalers and stores. The supply chain starts with the manufacturer who designs, makes and delivers the product to the retailer. The retailer then looks for ways to get the product into the hands of customers. Retailers can either sell the products in bulk and make a profit from each unit sold or sell the product piece-by-piece to the end user, called a direct sale.
A key component of any retail business is customer service. This begins long before a customer places an order with the business and extends through the end of the sales process. A well-developed customer service program allows customers to easily identify with the business, establishing a level of loyalty that can result in repeat business. Developing a strong customer service program that includes effective training, competent sales staff and friendly sales personnel all help to create a great customer base.
Another way to develop strong customer relations is to use social media such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to connect with customers on an individual level. Social media provides a way for retailers to increase their brand recognition and spread the word about the business. It also gives them an opportunity to interact with people around the world. A large retailer may want to consider implementing a social media program that offers coupons and discounts for customers who frequent specific businesses and provides a form of social media monitoring to alert the company to negative chatter about the company.
Many retailers focus on one particular aspect of the business such as price and do not take other elements into account. A retailer that sells mainly clothing should consider offering more products at lower prices to drive more customers to their outlet. Using other advertising media such as print and digital signage could also lead to a higher conversion rate because it is hard for people to ignore billboards. On the flip side, companies that sell a range of products including electronics should offer more products at attractive prices to improve profit margins. Both strategies will help retailers increase their customer base and make profits.
The retail sector has changed dramatically over the past decade due to the increasing popularity of online shopping. Consumers are becoming much more demanding when it comes to how they want to buy products. A few years ago, consumers traveled only a few blocks from a brick-and-mortar store to find the products they were looking for. Now, it takes several stops along a busy highway to find the hottest brands and most popular items. As a result, the competition has become much more aggressive and the retail sector has responded by investing heavily in warehouse and floor space to expand and create more convenient locations for shoppers.
The emergence of chain stores and multiple outlet malls has led to the creation of what is referred to as a “store cluster” or “superstore.” These massive outlets have become some of the most sought after retail destinations in the country. In a store cluster, multiple retailers sell the same products in the same locations. In this case, a retailer like Macy’s could have one outlet per section of a mall. This allows shoppers to get the variety of products they want without driving too far from their home or office.