The 7 essential tips that retailers need in order to thrive

Well, as the St. Bernard dogs of retail, we’ve pulled together seven easy-to-implement tips and strategies to keep the wolves from your door and the icicles off your nose. 

All of these activities can be implemented within weeks, not months, and if you follow our advice we’ll guarantee you a positive outcome.

There. That’s better already, isn’t it?

1. EXPERIMENT, EXPERIMENT, EXPERIMENT
Same-old-same-old just doesn’t cut it anymore. Just look at the retailers who had a bad Christmas this year – they all relied on tedious old tactics like generic across-the-board discounting thinking that what worked in the past would work in the present. T

he ones who thrived (John Lewis, Next, Ted Baker, Ryman) were the ones who didn’t even discount at all but, instead, tried new, engaging tactics to capture the public’s imagination.

The trick is not to spend months and months over-thinking your experiments but just to start doing and learning. As Dell’s brilliant Stephen Tedjamulia puts it: “Leverage the different technologies that vendors are creating… then try to go to market as fast as possible, experiment with real customers, track that and add kerosine to the things that work.”

2. GAMIFICATION + JEOPARDY = SALES
Flash sales are a common tactic to drum up interest but, instead of making products routinely available for a day, introduce some double-jeopardy where products can both time out and sell out. 

As the supply runs low and the clock runs down, the customer is faced with a stark choice: buy now (and tell your friends to buy, too) or run the risk of missing out altogether.

Alternatively, don’t just put products on sale – trail them first. Let your customers sign up for an alert so that they can be the first to know when a deal goes live. Make them aware that, if they don’t sign up, they’ll most likely miss the sale and miss out on the deal. Then add a further layer of gamification by telling them that the more people who sign up in advance, the bigger and better that deal will become in terms of quantity and pricing. 

By applying these tactics, you’ve turned a simple product sale into a vibrant event and that’s some serious progress.

3. LESS PUSH, MORE PULL
Retail promotions are strange. The retailer makes all the decisions, selects the products and merchandises the deals. Meanwhile, the only involvement the customer gets to have is handing over their money at the end of it all. 

That’s not to say that retailers don’t know their markets and margins better than everyone but, instead of pitching a deal for (say) electric blankets at millions of people and hoping that a thousand bite, have you ever considered asking your customers what deals they’d like to see and going with that instead? 

Not only are you empowering the people who matter most to your bottom line, you’re also effectively amassing pre-sales – and that’s money in the bank.

CONTINUE READING ON PAGE TWO…

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