Getting into retail business is definitely no walk in the park. You can’t just decide to do it and expect success. If you intend to operate a business centered on retailing, you may want to go over the following important points:
1. Deeply understand the basics.
If you search for tips on starting a retail business, you will surely encounter many things that these tips have in common. These include the need to make sure that you have the right location, right merchandise, the best possible suppliers, the right setup, the right people, and the right promotion efforts. As you plan your retail venture, you need to cover all the basics. If you are doing most of your retail business as an online operation, in lieu of the location factor, you need to ascertain that your marketing and promotion activities create adequate impact to highlight your business’ online presence and make sure that you get your target customers’ attention.
2. Efficient inventory management is a must.
This is a basic requirement every retail business owner or manager should know. The retail business involves the handling of products to be sold in small quantities. As such, there’s inventory to maintain and the need to make sure that everything is well organized and properly planned. It is necessary to analyze inventory movements to make sure that restocking is done to avoid running out of stocks while also being mindful of not ordering too much and too early that you no longer have the storage room for the inventory. It is advisable to get a reliable inventory management software to make inventory count and management easier.
3. You are more likely to succeed if you have both brick and mortar and online selling channels.
With internet access becoming commonplace among consumers at present, it only makes sense selling products online. However, it’s important to emphasize that pure online selling is not going to be clearly better than setting up a physical store. Yes, there are many advantages but it’s not accurate to say that retailers are more likely to succeed by focusing on online selling channels. What’s certain to provide higher chances of success is having both online and traditional retail operations.
4. Online retail selling is not the future of retail.
In a feature article on Forbes, one of the “things to know to succeed in retail” mentioned is the idea that online retail is not the future. This may not sound right but it’s arguably a good guide for retailers. Selling through the internet is a growing trend but it’s not going to define the future of retail. It will help boost retail business and should be exploited by retailers but it cannot be the ultimate goal of businesses. Online transactions will become commonplace but they will not be supplanting traditional modes of retail let alone drive brick and mortar stores into extinction. That’s why to become successful in retail, the key is being dynamic or being able to adapt to the evolution or changes in the industry.
5. Consider selling through online marketplaces.
Selling online doesn’t always mean that you have to spend for the development of your own website or online store. There’s the option to have your products listed in online marketplaces or classifieds sites. You can also promote your products on social media. You don’t always have to create your own website and spend for many things like your own domain name, web host, and shopping cart software. Many marketplaces nowadays come with great features like SSL encryption, secure messaging systems for vendors, as well as escrow systems to help prevent scams or to quickly address complaints after transactions are completed. You may be asked to pay a certain percentage of your sales to the marketplace but you get to reach more potential customers and take advantage of the systems implemented by marketplaces to attract more buyers.
6. Research your market and use segmentation techniques.
It is very important to know and understand the market where you will be operating your retail business. Conduct a scientific market research to know what products to offer or to tweak your products and marketing efforts. Also, understand that customers widely vary. There are differences in the product preferences of people in different age groups, sexes, cultures, statuses, or other criteria. It is important to identify your potential customers to be able to offer them the products they are more likely to get. Use technology for segmentation. Conduct surveys or use online tools to keep track of what our current and prospective customers share in common to group them together and tailor product offerings or promotions that will be more appealing to different segments.
Starting a retail business is not something you can just do without careful planning, research, and marketing efforts. Even if you just plan to have a franchised retail store, you also have to take into account the important points mentioned above. You also need to be quick to adjust or implement tweaks in your products or marketing to cope with changes in the market or to take advantage of opportunities that may emerge unexpectedly.