The years 2020 and 2021 have been game-changers for the retail industry. Overnight, people’s buying habits changed as consumers shopped from home and stockpiled necessities. Many of the strongest retailers were able to adapt to the changes and emerge stronger. They adjusted to the demands and expectations of consumers and weathered the challenges presented by supply chain disruptions.
If you’re hoping to improve your retail operations in 2022 and in the future, there are several things you can do to optimize your business, make new connections and increase revenue.
5 Ways for Retail Leaders to Improve Business in 2022
If you have a growth mindset for 2022 and beyond, you have several options for figuring out how to improve your retail business. A few things worth trying include:
1. Get Employees Involved in Decision Making
Operation optimizations for retail businesses begin on the inside. To improve retail operations and pave the way for growth, make every single person who works for your company feel like a valued member of the team. When your company’s employees are actively engaged, they’re more likely to go above and beyond when it comes to doing their work. They’ll feel like what they do matters, both for their professional success and for the success of your company.
You can improve engagement in several ways. One option is to have regular team meetings, where employees are invited to share their ideas and thoughts. You can also take employee surveys to find out what they want from you as an employer and what next steps they think the company should take.
Another way to get employees more involved in decisions and in the direction of the company is to offer them some autonomy in the store. If you operate multiple brick-and-mortar locations, encourage the staff at each store to put their own stamp on it. Your company might require the use of certain types of decorations or colors in-store, but beyond that, give employees the freedom to arrange and decorate the location as they see fit.
2. Focus on Building Relationships With Your Core Customers
It can cost your business up to 25 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing customer. Your connection with your customers should go beyond simply selling them products or having them purchase from you. In the age of social media and increasing digital connection, it’s essential to build relationships with your most valued customers.
Who is a core or valued customer? It can be someone who already buys a lot from your store or someone who purchases less frequently but who has the potential to buy more.
There are several things you can do to boost your customer relationships. A simple step to take is to reach out to people who have recently purchased from your store. You can email them and ask what they thought. You might include a discount code or coupon in the email to encourage them to place another order or visit a physical location again.
Another way to build relationships with customers is to introduce a rewards or loyalty program. Customers who opt in to the program can provide you with details about themselves, such as their birthdays, favorite color, contact information and shopping preferences. You can use the information to send them customized emails or text messages, such as happy birthday messages, emails that highlight products in their favorite color or emails showcasing items similar to what they’ve previously purchased.
3. Upgrade Your Business’s ERP Software
If your retail business has recently introduced e-commerce or has long struggled to merge its e-commerce and brick-and-mortar divisions, 2022 is the year to upgrade or sign up for enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. An ERP designed specifically for retailers allows you to manage inventory across all channels. You can see in real time whether a product is out of stock, helping you avoid stock-outs or overselling.
An ERP also streamlines the process of merging e-commerce and brick-and-mortar retail locations. For example, your company might want to begin to offer in-store or curbside pick-up orders to cut down on shipping costs and to help customers get their purchases faster. To do so successfully, you’ll need to know what’s in stock at which store and in your warehouses. Knowing your inventory numbers and locations allows you to give customers a reliable estimate for when their order will be ready to pick up.
NetSuite ERP can also improve your overall relationship with your customers. Use the software to track purchases and monitor customer’s behavior. The software can give you insight into the best time to send a customer an email or offer them a discount.
4. Invest in Social Media Marketing
The future, for many retailers, is social. If you haven’t already, now is the time to throw some energy and weight behind your company’s social media profiles. One way to focus on social is to zero in on social shopping. With social shopping or commerce, your company’s social posts become shoppable experiences for customers. They can click directly on products in an Instagram post or story to purchase them. It creates a frictionless shopping experience that can increase sales.
Livestreaming is another way to make the most of social media marketing now and in the future. A live post on Instagram or Facebook creates a sense of immediacy. You can livestream fashion shows, product launches or try-on sessions. You can get influencers involved, having them livestream reviews or product unboxing videos.
5. Focus on New Revenue Streams
Your company can only sell so much before it hits a wall and can’t grow anymore. Before that happens, it’s worthwhile to brainstorm a few ways to introduce new revenue streams. If you’ve been operating a brick-and-mortar location, one way to add a new revenue stream is by introducing an online shop. With e-commerce, your company can reach a more geographically diverse group of customers.
Another option is to introduce subscriptions, which will lead to repeat purchases. Customers can purchase an annual subscription that will provide them with a new product or curated selection of products every month.
Collaborations are another way to introduce new revenue streams and increase your growth potential. You might partner with a designer or artist who traditionally works in another field, or you might collaborate with a different company. Collaborations introduce your company to a new customer base and potentially increase sales.
Learn How Cloud Genius Advisors Optimizes Retail Operations
Your employees and customers are valuable assets if you want to improve retail operations now and in the future. Using an ERP can help you minimize inefficiencies, increase operational visibility and reduce costs, all while growing your retail business. To learn more about NetSuite ERP and how it can help you optimize your business operations, contact Cloud Genius Advisors, your NetSuite experts, today.