The key to avoiding bad retail
We've all had bad retail experiences, and there's nothing worse. The staff chewing gum and talking to each other instead of helping customers; the times when stock levels don't match demand; the products that aren't fit for purpose; the cluttered and dirty shop that drives customers away; the web orders that don't arrive on time; and (Heaven forbid) the discounting practices that are so far off the mark that customers end up complaining to the Commerce Commission.
How can you avoid these situations? The reality is that running a small retail business can be a pretty tough gig, and not for the faint-hearted. The market's pretty competitive, both at home and online, and there's a host of things to worry about. It's really important to have a strong and coherent business strategy, to keep up with industry best practice, and to be delivering a consistently fantastic customer experience both in-store and on digital channels.
Achieving that perfect customer experience takes good planning; great products and prices; amazing marketing; and, most importantly, a fantastic, well-trained, and highly engaged team. All of these factors contribute to making your customer feel wanted, valued and, most importantly, keen to buy from your store.
Whether you're new to retail, or an old-hand, the market's always evolving, and new challenges are always emerging. It's a great idea to keep up with what's going on in the market by reading industry publications (such as NZ Retail magazine and theregister.co.nz); keeping a close eye on what your competitors are up to; and networking with, and learning from others.
There are more networking and learning opportunities than you might think. Your local Chamber of Commerce or Business Association might host events; and Retail NZ has a series of workshops that are held throughout the country, to help retailers stay at the top of their game. Our expert facilitators cover everything from retail planning and strategy; products; merchandising; selling; employee training and engagement; the legal essentials you need to know; HR issues; and social media.
See our Retail Workshops page for more information, and when we're coming to a town near you.