Competition has always been fierce in the retail segment. With retail giants cropping up everywhere, it is imperative that new players in the market are ready and capable of creating a unique niche for themselves that somehow differentiates them from their competitors and creating an impression in the minds of the consumer.
Starting with a unique proposition:
It is important to have an idea that others will find difficult to replicate, so that it remains unique in the market. Innovation is the key to success. Start by studying the existing major retail companies to glean their strategy before making your own.
Doing a market survey to identify unmet needs in society and addressing those needs is what is required. Several e-commerce sites which offer home-delivered groceries, for example, saw an unmet need for the chore of grocery shopping to be taken care of in this day and age of working professionals, especially in families where women are also working outside the home, and met this need and have found success in it.
Once initiated, it has to be executed consistently with emphasis on quality.
Once you have a clear goal and vision and plan of what you have to offer the customer, you have to beware of stagnation.
Constant evolution and upgrading is what is required to stay abreast in this sector. Tweaking even successful concepts is what keeps the freshness and attracts customers. Learning from mistakes and using the lessons learnt to create new products and services will also make the mistake worthwhile in the long run!
Creating and projecting a unique culture:
It is easy for people working in the service sector to become exhausted and lose their enthusiasm over a period of time. The only thing that can counteract this is for the company to instil a strong work ethic and culture which every employee feels proud of and wants to emulate.
Only if every employee has a feeling of belonging will they be able to consistently deliver high standards of service to the customer. This is something that has to percolate from the top levels of leadership.
Having a clear vision statement and code of ethics and statement of purpose, which every employee can relate to, can set this in motion.
Since it is so expensive in today’s economy to expand, many retail companies take to expanding through a franchise model or by buying out other companies that have a similar vision, product, or service.
This way, they can expand while keeping down costs and increasing profits at the same time by enlarging their reach.
These four factors can work for retail companies irrespective of other variables that may come into the picture, like geographical location, customer needs, cultural expectations, difference in products or services or experience.