The key to triumphing in today’s retail business is by offering your customers the best experience possible. This means giving your consumers the products they need at a good price. Moreover, you should be able to offer them a memorable experience; an experience that will make you stand out from the crowd. Besides, as a dynamic retailer, you need to anticipate your customer’s needs.
However, all of that is easier said than done. The retail industry has become tough. Competitors are coming and going and all things digital gather the attention. To truly thrive in the retail industry is not easy. Nevertheless, one way to prosper and overcome tough competition is by collaborating. That can be done with third parties, customers or with members from within your organization. We’ll be highlighting three ways in which you can collaborate in order to skyrocket your retail business.
1. Collaborate with your customers
First off, cooperating with consumers is a must. To stand out in the first place is by building a sincere relationship with your clients. Everyone is tired off those companies that bombard them with television commercials, directed to no specific audience in particular. In order to reach the customers of today, you must know them extremely well.
You need to get to know which channels your customers use and the way they like to shop. For instance, if your client follows your Facebook and Instagram page, communicating via these channels is a sound idea. One way to engage with your customers is by setting up Q&A’s or by making a video introducing your newest products.
With both of these strategies, your customers have the opportunity to make themselves heard: they can introduce new ideas and can suggest alterations to present products or services. Moreover, they get to see who’s behind your organization and can sympathize with your employees. Baseline is that you build a personal relationship with them.
By interacting with your customers, whether in-store or online, you get to know what kind of customer they are and what products they need or want. And, when your customers tell you they want a certain good, you – as a retailer – can be responsive and can exactly offer what their heart desires.
2. Cooperate with suppliers
If you want to collaborate effectively, you might want to take your relationship with your supplier or distributor to the next level. One way to do so is by sharing the data you receive with your distributor. This step, in particular, is a smart move for small and medium business.
Not every business has got the money or place to stock all the products they sell. Or, if you’re an e-retailer, you might distribute your stock evenly over the country instead of assembling it in one place. Chris Petersen, founder at Integrated Marketing Solutions, shares how businesses can benefit from collaborating with one another.
Many distributors are starting to offer capabilities of drop ship. It’s a very important example of collaboration because what drop-ship means is the retailer never has to take actual inventory or title of the goods. They sell a product online, they make sure that the distributors are holding the inventory, the distributor ships it either to the customer’s home or to the store.Chris Peterson, founder at Integrated Marketing Solutions
However, if you want to start off with this ambitious project, there needs to be close collaboration between both parties. The point of sale systems of the retailer needs to be completely synchronized with the systems of the supplier. Otherwise, the distributor will not be able to ship the product to the customer or to your store. It’s not a strategy for gut feeling; it’s one for exact data.
3. Work together with solution providers
And last but not least, we suggest you collaborate with third-party solution providers. There’s a wide range of partners who might help you skyrocket your retail business. And let’s face it, the retail industry is a tough one so a little help is always welcome, right?
For instance, you might collaborate with an app that allows your customers to track the order they just made. A good example is Ace Turtle, a company that helps retailers track their inventory. Besides, the Indian company’s smart data tracks if the shipping to the customer can be more efficient. Chris Petersen explains the solution shortly:
In India, travelling is quite difficult, even getting down the street several blocks for delivery is hard. Through the integrated platform Ace Turtle offers, the company now has the data system where they can decide and say “No, traffic is too busy. We’ll send a bike with the pair of shoes to the customer’s home instead”. It’s an amazing network that small retailers and shops can plug into.Chris Petersen, founder at Integrated Marketing Solutions
By collaborating with smart solutions, every retailer – whether big or small – that uses this solution profits massively. Delivery is faster and far more efficient if you take a close look at the customer’s specific situation. Besides, this efficient delivery of goods will make your business stand out from the crowd!
A tight network
Collaborating proves to be essential if you want to make it in the retail business. Whether you’re cooperating with third-party solutions, your suppliers and customers or your colleagues. Working together is pivotal. It’s of the utmost importance. Besides, a tight network between all of these parties is only beneficial.
Customers who actually get listened to, will gladly promote your brand. Moreover, collaborating with suppliers is also favorable for your relationship with your consumers: fast and efficient service is definitely in your favor! Additionally, third-party solutions that function perfectly could serve as a stepping stone for future projects. In short, collaborating proves to be an indispensable element of a successful retail business.
Which collaboration strategy have you already implemented in your business or which approach do you plan on following? Definitely let us know in the comments and don’t forget to share this blog post with your retail colleagues!