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How to run a successful retail business

Owning and running a successful retail business can be demanding and stressful.

Whether a small boutique, a local shop, or a larger store, running a retail business is no mean feat. It is a competitive and challenging industry, that requires first class customer service, quality products and excellent staff management.

To help ensure that your retail business is successful, consider these tips on marketing, competition and location.

The four Ps

A common marketing term, the four Ps refer to:

  • Product
  • Pricing
  • Promotions
  • Place

These are fairly self-explanatory. Product refers to the need to offer a range of items that customers will want to buy and also have the ability to provide a profit, which must be set at the correct price for your customer base and in turn, sold in a place that customers can access. After achieving this combination, you must be able to reach potential clients to promote your business.

The four Cs

In retail, it would appear that things come in fours. In addition to the four Ps, retail marketing also uses the four Cs. As customers continue to hold more power and are able to search online for a greater range of products, businesses are increasingly using the four Cs:

  • Connections
  • Choice
  • Convenience
  • Conversation

To make it easy for your customers and increase your sales, make sure your business can operate through a smartphone, selling products and offering a customer service experience that can be accessed through a smartphone.

Know your competition

In a market where large international retailers are king, knowing your competition is crucial to success. If your business operates in a high street or local store, take the time to visit competitors, assess their product selection, merchandising and window displays, customer service and packaging. Alternatively, if your business exists solely online, visit competitors websites, research their shipping methods (companies such as Myparceldelivery.com could offer your business a wider range of delivery services), analyse their customer contact methods and examine their branding.

Location is key

No matter if your business exists in physical premises or a virtual store online, the location of your business is paramount. For small, local, independent businesses, consider a store in an area where there is already high footfall, but that is not located immediately adjoining key competitors. For online businesses, setting up a boutique on a popular web market place could be a great option, bringing in existing online traffic without all of the leg work.