Over the past few years, we have seen a number of retailers that have fallen by the wayside as competition for the customer dollar gets tougher and tougher. Recently two delivery platforms also joined the list of business failures.
It’s always particularly sad for the staff who end up having to look for another job, sad for the owners as well of course. So why is this happening and why is it occurring more often?
We can blame lots of things – the big swing to online sales, overseas big retailers taking market share away, including Amazon, falling behind on trends and a number of other reasons. My take on this is pretty simple, providing retailers have the right product that customers want to buy and merchandised well, then it’s down to the instore experience that will determine if the customer buys or not.
I have talked a number of times about the importance of the instore experience and the absolute lack of this in most retail stores. Now I’m not saying that this one thing would have saved these retailers, however, it’s a key factor. How well the sales staff perform has a direct correlation on how much and how often customers buy. This has been roundly supported from other sources. Matt Newell, executive strategy director at retail strategy firm, The General Store was quoted in an Inside Retail article: “I think there’s a big opportunity for retailers with physical stores to drastically improve their instore experience.
The internet can’t be beaten on commodity style purchases but online retailers can’t match the immersiveness of physical retail. Retailers with stores should play to that advantage as hard as possible.” I totally agree and here is the opportunity for every retailer to beat their competition by providing that unique instore experience.
So, if you don’t want to become one of the next statistics, I would strongly suggest having a look at what happens at the frontline in your stores and answer these questions:
• Are my staff providing the best possible experience for every precious customer?
• Are they able to stop tasks to attend to customers straight away?
• Are they supporting in-store merchandising and promotional initiatives?
• Are your store managers leading by example and coaching their team to be the best they can be?
If the answer is no to any or all of these questions it’s critical that you do something about it, before it’s too late.
Roger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Ultimate Retail Sales Experience” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service, and selling skills.