Action Step 8
Reinvent your retail goals.
Let’s face it – starting a retail business is one thing, but growing and scaling a retail business requires an entirely different path, especially following a pandemic like COVID-19. Keeping that in mind, there’s one question you need to answer.
Are you satisfied with the efforts you’ve made to continue and even increase sales despite COVID-19?
As you look ahead into 2020, consider ways you can reinvent your retail business in order to find success in years to come. Among the avenues to do this include the following:
- Introduce white label manufacturing to your retail strategy. White label products are sold by retailers with their own branding and logo, however the products themselves are manufactured by a third party. As a retailer, this allows you to gain stronger margins on your inventory and create products that are exclusive to your stores. This also encourages you to shift your inventory dollars, ultimately shifting your inventory which you should actively be following via an inventory management software such as SkuIQ.
- Strengthen your retail supply chain efforts. According to a study from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), nearly 75 percent of U.S. businesses have experienced supply chain disruption because of COVID-19. This is a major issue that collectively impacts inventory, operations, marketing and of course, sales. Yet with challenges come opportunities and now is your chance to evaluate and react to ways you can improve your supply chain efforts. From where you source inventory and store supplies to how much stock you need on-hand to introducing drop-shipping on select items to the transportation and parcel choices you depend on, review and then react to how you can improve your supply chain system. Another tip? Plan for disruption in your supply chain to happen again because if COVID-19 taught us anything, it’s that you need to be prepared for the unexpected
- Stay ahead of consumer demands. Unpredictable customer expectations were generated due to COVID-19, but warning signs of consumer needs became available early on. This lesson is a reminder to retailers that tracking and analyzing data – particularly inventory – is essential in reacting to real-time customer demands. From current marketplace trends to your unique customer data intelligence to local customer behavior insight and more, your goal is to have the ability – both financially and operationally – to shift gears across all avenues in order to more comfortably adjust to consumer wants and needs. Having the ability to make quick changes is key.
Retailers have to be brutally honest about the realities they face, including the relative strength of their business model, their financial health and flexibility, the substantial uncertainty of what the future looks like and, therefore, the range of potential outcomes that they must plan for as we move into this brave new world. Our goals should be to build from the customer up. We need a deep understanding of our various key customer segments, various purchase journeys and how they are changing in light of COVID-19. Armed with this knowledge, retailers can surgically focus their efforts on eliminating critical points of friction in the customer journeys and – most importantly – find places where they can really amplify the ‘wow’. Then they can build more realistic goals around what it takes to win, keep and grow their various priority customer segments.
-Steve Dennis, Forbes Contributor and Author of Remarkable Retail: How to Win and Keep Customers in the Age of Digital Disruption
Make a list of your top 3 goals for your retail business within the next 3 months, 6 months and then one year. With 9 goals total, work towards meeting them with proactive efforts fueled by marketplace analysis, inventory management, customer care and of course, data. To help stay on track of these goals, make them visible to you on a daily basis so that you are more likely to stay focused on achieving them.