27 May Avoid These 3 Retail Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Business in 2022
3 Retail Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Business in 2022
- Think that brand story is not important
- Spending too much time on long and redundant processes
- Overly maximize retail resources
1. THINK THAT BRAND STORY IS NOT IMPORTANT
In this day of age, having just a brand and logo is no longer sufficient to push your product to stand out from the rest. Hard to imagine? We can do a little exercise! Let’s take out our phones and go to either Shopee, Lazada, Taobao or any e-commerce app and search for something simple like a bag. You’ll see that there are tons of options and variety with an even larger pool of brands and logos for these products. So how do we differentiate the products? Take myself for example, I was looking for a good quality ukulele (to deal with the boredom of the pandemic). I filtered through tons of reviews and feedback of various ukulele brands, when I say tons, I mean TONS! After what seemed like an eternity, I came to the conclusion that it was too much and I closed my app and went to bed.
In the end, much like every other customer, I decided to just go to a physical store and search for my “dream” ukulele. That’s when I came across L.Luthier. I was curious about the interesting logo so the staff explained, the h in the logo is distinct and made to look like the mandarin character for people “?”. This is based on the founders’ passion to work hard in creating perfection to aspiring musicians. Thus the logo looks like someone bent over, working on a project.
I bought the ukulele and had an amazing time with it but the story behind the logo, brand and the passion of the founder touched me till this very day! In this day of age, we as modern shoppers purchase based on the uniqueness and relatability of the brand to us. As such, the long neglected brand story has actually become one of the important distinctions for businesses to have to differentiate among the ocean of brands out in the market!
2. SPENDING TOO MUCH TIME ON LONG AND REDUNDANT PROCESSES
“I need to sort out my online store orders and physical store orders!”
“My staff is on leave, I need to arrange someone else to take charge!”
“My store is running out of stock, I need to arrange to order them now!”
Are these some of the statements you use frequently these days? If so, that is a huge red flag indicating that your business needs to adapt to stay on top! Previously as a retail executive, I found it tiring to work day-to-day solving issues such as manpower and stock issues. By the time I had resolved all these issues, I only had time to complete daily tasks with no space to improve. Sometimes I even had to push some of the leftover tasks to the next day! This became a continuous cycle of solving issues and completing tasks before time runs out rather than a focus on how to improve the current situation!
Things finally began to look better when I decided to spend some time organizing a system and way of documentation to allow for smoother store inventory management. Next, I focused on using apps and tools to track orders and manpower issues. It took me two weeks to completely utilize and execute these systems and a number of tasks left unattended. However, it became so so SO much better to manage my daily tasks. I found myself having more time to improve the system I implemented, having an easier time resolving issues and having a much smoother process in predicting upcoming issues.
So if you find yourself constantly spending your time solving issues without extra time to improve your business, that means it’s time to focus on streamlining and automating your business. Similar to the quote by Winston Churchill “You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks!”, when your time is mostly spent on resolving menial and tedious issues, you won’t have the time to do what you are meant to do! In this case, optimizing your business!
3. OVERLY MAXIMIZE RETAIL RESOURCES
The resources in this case doesn’t only include your products and staff, it also includes the space you have in your store! It’s tempting to make sure to display all possible products in your store for the customers to pick, but if this causes the store to be filled to the brim with items and no space for the customer to experience them, that becomes a huge issue! A store that maximizes their retail resources generally have the following characteristics:
- Have sufficient space to display important and focused products with some variety
- Space for customers to walk around, experience and test out the products.
- Properly lit and themed
Take L.Luthier for example, I went to their store and despite the variety of guitars and ukuleles that were hanging on the walls, they had ample space for us to sit, experience and test out their instruments! Not only that, but the store design was very rustic, very comfortable and lit with warm yellow lights. This compared to another ukulele store I went to and it was cramped to the max. They had all their ukuleles on display, but had no place for me to sit and properly test it out, it was quite poorly lit so I found myself accidentally bumping into things. To make matters worse, the sales person even had trouble demonstrating the ukulele because of the cramped space (he was still quite skilled though).
So as much as you want to display all of your products, an important question to ask yourself would be “will my customers be able to experience my products properly?”. Modern shoppers have the option to go to any online store to purchase what they want, so what sets physical stores and online stores apart? The ability to experience the product and have someone assist you while doing so! Rather than focusing on product and staff, it’s time we focus on the space we are utilizing and whether it’s conducive for customers to experience the products!
As a retail business owner in this day of age, it is important to be customer-centric. Developing and crafting a unique brand story to set yourself apart from competition, allowing customers to experience what the store can offer by properly maximizing retail resources while automating processes to be more efficient could be the difference between a normal retail business and a successful one that stays on top of the game!
Managing a retail business requires us to constantly stay updated on market trends and the latest most efficient practices in the field to stay on top of the game. Interested and hungry for the latest market trends and top practices? Check out our Retail Management Program on our website or look at other public programs that can help you to excel both in work and in life!
Written by Bryan Law Chu Zheng,
SHRA Corporate Trainer
Bryan is a member of the SHRA trainer team. He is a major in Psychology with a retail background. He has a deep passion for human interaction and personal development.
You can catch him dancing or playing the uke on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
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