People will never stop needing things. Especially now that society lives in a consumer-centric world, there will always be demand for food, clothes, and other products. Because of this, retail businesses will always be relevant, and many aspiring entrepreneurs like you are looking to thrive in this industry.
How can your business “make it” in such a robust and competitive space? Here’s the simplest answer: enforce the right strategies and be aware of common pitfalls.
Unfortunately, many people think retail is as simple as partnering with suppliers, renting a space/web domain, hiring a couple of staff, and voila—an instant money machine. It’s a HUGE mistake. If you wish to maximize growth and returns in no time, you should be wary of these seven business mistakes common amongst retail brands.
7 Business Mistakes Made by Retail Brands
- Lack of an online presence
Establishing a brick-and-mortar store to escape the nitty-gritty of digital marketing isn’t going to cut it in today’s competitive industry landscape. The truth is, you still need it.
People connect to products and services digitally now. Often, an online presence is just as valuable as your business’s real-life presence. So, why not try an eCommerce platform in the Philippines for your digital store solutions?
Think of how you may sometimes google “_____ near me.” Your potential customers are the same, and you need to be visible at the right places at the right time (digitally).
- Too many vanity metrics
A strong social media and website presence are necessary to your brand. But sometimes, businesses can go overboard by chasing the wrong statistics.
Vanity metrics like followers, likes, and website traffic are good but shouldn’t be the sole basis for your business’s success or “popularity.” While these figures are easily obtainable and can make you feel great, they do not provide you with any actionable steps to improve your business. To make matters worse, it can be a source of complacency since they can wrongfully illuminate that your brand is doing better than usual.
Instead, try to focus on more actionable metrics such as cost per lead, conversion rates, and customer lifetime value. When tracked and acted upon, these metrics will help you identify which of your strategies aren’t working and can even help you come up with new ways to grow your company.
- Lack of originality
You’re not the only one catering to your target market. Competitors are inevitable, and they’re supposed to challenge you and not intimidate you.
However, you can’t just copy your competitors’ marketing styles. Doing so may make your business look lazy and may subject you to lawsuits or other legal troubles on copyright offenses (in extreme cases).
Know your brand’s core values, work on your optics, and stay true to your process. If you need help, you may hire a marketing team to build a strong brand presence that no one else can easily copy.
- Not focusing enough on your customers
Customer centricity doesn’t only mean curating your products based on your target market’s needs. You must invest in enriching these relationships by providing impeccable customer service.
By using data, it should be easier to identify the demographics of your most important customers. Study how they speak, act, and the kind of media they consume—and then work your way from there.
Some beginners underestimate their customers. They may come in individual numbers and small quantities, but you must never play down their buying capacity and the power of word of mouth. One bad customer service can cause a significant dip in your sales.
- Failure to adapt to market factors
Sometimes, business owners treat their businesses like an extension of themselves. While not inherently harmful, sometimes, they turn a blind eye to important market factors.
For example, you own a convenience store near a university. Classes start as early as 8 AM and end at 5. Because you’re used to waking up late, you open your store at 10 AM and close at 6 PM. You’ve already lost the sales from the morning rush if you set your store hours this late.
Failing to attune to your target market’s needs when they need it most will cause you to miss out on a ton of sales opportunities. It might also allow your supposed customers to rely on other competitors
- Poor inventory management
Manual audits and spreadsheets may suffice to some as “inventory management,” but those with growth mindsets know this isn’t enough, especially if you sell on multiple channels.
You may invest in data-driven inventory management tools to help you forecast your inventory based on the number of sales. You could also stay consistent with your promises, calculate lead time, and anticipate demand through advance orders.
- Detachment from employees
One devastating mistake employers make when starting their business is treating their workforce as a mere transactional resource. To be very clear, every member of your business (from owners to the employees) are all representations of your brand.
Baron Christopher Hanson of RedBaronUSA says, “Rock star employees know how to sell your product or service to anyone who walks through your door. Great employees also do not lie, cheat, or steal. They know how to spot shoplifters and will raise their hand when they see signs of waste, lost revenues, and ways to save money.”
Loyalty isn’t something you can buy. But if you treat your staff right, they’ll take care of you in return..
Retail Success Made Easy
Running a product-based business might seem simple, but it isn’t a walk in the park. It requires you to work smart, stay focused, and most of all be empathic. After all, it’s about building something your employees and customers will love and stay loyal to.
Now that you’re aware of the mistakes above, attaining retail success should be much easier. Thinking about setting up an eCommerce platform that will drive more sales and leads? We’ve got you covered! Reach out to one of our sales champs and book a demo of Rush’s eStore suite today!