Originally published on RetailMinded.com, the following article offers insight on how much indie retail has changed and what you need to do!
The Top 3 Changes in Retail That You Must Respond To
If you are doing retail the same way that you did it even 2 years ago, then you are falling behind. There has been a fundamental shift in each of the three core areas of retail: inventory, marketing and team. If you want to get ahead with increasing sales, you must have a strategy.
For decades, the way we would buy was to look at a line and order some items in a couple of different sizes and colors. Let’s use the example of a bath and body line. You would look at 7 scents. Each scent was made in 8 different product and 4 of the products had various sizes. So you chose 3 scents and did different products from a couple of them and chose some different sizes. The total number of skus was 15 and you bought 3 of each for a total of 45 items. That is called “wide and shallow” assortment buying.
Now to maximize your profits and consumer demand, you should be buying “narrow and deep”. You hear the word ‘curated’ often. People can shop online and get the whole line but you have carefully chosen the best of the best. Commitment like this makes it easier to keep the best sellers in stock and it makes a better merchandising statement. Handling the product training is easier too.To use the same example, you could still pick 3 scents but you would only order 2 or 3 products from each. Those would be ordered deep. The total number of skus is 9 and you would order 5 of each. Also you would react fast to slow movers.
Marketing has changed dramatically. Products don’t sell. There isn’t that much ‘new’ any more – except for at Apple Stores. Stories sell. Your customers want to know why they should care about you and your merchandise. Look at Tom’s. They are shoes with a story. When you give them a reason to care, they will loyally support you.
Finally, no longer do you have salespeople as employees. In fact you shouldn’t have any employees. You have a team. You are the coach. Your job is to touch their unique ability and use it for good. Your job is to keep them all working their genius and collaborating on making your store bigger and better than you could ever do on your own.
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