Experts' CornerNews and Events

Rethink your business strategy for the New Year

The beginning of the new year is a great time to refresh, review or rethink your business strategy for 2023. The first step is to analyze the results you achieved this year. It never hurts to look at your entire operation holistically to get a fresh perspective on what strategies proved successful–or identify those you can eliminate because they failed to gain traction. Develop a plan for next year that is agile enough to support changes in technology that directly impact the retail industry. It should also leverage social media to build customer relationships and create more personalized connections.

Be Flexible and Try Something New
The marketplace is changing rapidly. Doing what you did last previously to get consumers’ attention may essentially be old news. E-commerce and brick-and-mortar competitors are vying for a more significant share of the shopper’s wallet. The playing field will only get more challenging for store owners who are not prepared with a plan that fully incorporates e-commerce. Operating a robust business online is essential for retailers who want to attract new customers, generate sales, and remain relevant.

  • Ninety percent of shoppers say they will make in-store purchases
  • (ninety-seven percent will buy products online from retailers with physical stores)
  • Sixty-one percent of e-commerce purchases are done by mobile phone
  • Purchases by mobile phones are anticipated to reach $3.5 trillion by 2021
  • (3/4 of total e-commerce transactions)

Promote Sales and Targeted Deals
Shoppers will keep looking for deals after the holiday—the more, the merrier. Retail chains and big box retailers spend millions of dollars on digital and social media ads. However, small businesses have limited budgets and should offer shoppers deals targeted to certain product categories, themes, or specific days.

Deliver Consistent Messaging
There will be hundreds of opportunities to get your message out during the upcoming season. However, it’s up to you to communicate your message effectively. It can be challenging to break through the clutter generated by the thousands of messages that bombard consumers. Your campaign should include social media, digital ads, websites, in-store and exterior signage, and seasonal displays. Keep your message simple. Avoid complicated messages that require customers to figure out what you are promoting or selling. Your message should be unique and memorable enough for consumers to hear and associate it with your store or brand.

Go All Out to Get New Customers
Loyal customers are the bread and butter of every business. You can count on them to support your business throughout the year. The Spring season is a great time to invite new customers to try the products and services your business offers. A recent survey indicates that 50 percent of shoppers are willing to do business with retailers they have yet to patronize. Optimizing your website and promoting your business on social media is a way to create awareness and generate sales from this new customer base.

Deliver Exceptional Customer Service

Consistently offering customers an exceptional shopping experience is the best way to make your business more profitable and create loyal customers. You want customers to take the time to brag about your store online. Go the extra mile to make them feel special and resolve their problems quickly.

An article in Entrepreneur Magazine highlights a few statistics that show why businesses with poor service have difficulty keeping their doors open.

  • 97 percent of customers tell others when they receive very good or excellent service
  • 70 percent would spend more money on a business with excellent service.
  • 24 percent will return to the same business two or more years after a good experience.
  • 59 percent would leave a business and try a new one to receive better service

Preparing for the upcoming sales season is no easy task, but your effort will pay off if you make getting more sales a team effort. Look at your business through customers’ eyes and seek opportunities to improve. Shop your competitors and big box stores to see how they display merchandise and promote similar products. Keep an eye on new products and trends to offer your customers the most popular merchandise, tips, and ideas. Just remember to think big.

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