Advertise with fastmoving.co.za
 
 

When your business is small, local and bespoke, you are able to roll with the economic punches.
When your business is small, local and bespoke, you are able to roll with the economic punches.

5 Major mistakes independent retailers should avoid

MARKETING NEWS

Issued by Red Ribbon Communications - Feb 25th, 14:35

There is a lot to be said for being an independent retailer in South Africa at the moment. When your business is small, local and bespoke, you are able to roll with the economic punches. You are agile, flexible and can adapt to absorb the impact of upheavals like a technical recession or a sudden shift in trends. However, as a small fish in a big pond, you also need to have your wits about you. 

Whether you run a made-to-measure fashion boutique, sports and outdoor enterprise, food and drink outlet, health and beauty destination, shoe store or bike shop, there are certain prevailing principles that apply to the successful management of an independent retail environment. The retail and inventory management experts from Vend have a few tips to share on common pitfalls that small businesses should avoid when setting up shop. These five major mistakes include:

Relying on a cumbersome old-school system
Your retail management system is the core of your business. When you’re relying on a cumbersome, old-school system that requires manual entries or won’t work when the internet is down, you’re setting yourself up for failure. What you need is cloud-based POS software that allows you to sign in anytime and work from anywhere, giving you access to your sales, products and reports even when you're not behind the counter or in the office. Ideally, this system should feature advanced tools - like inventory management and customer loyalty programmes - that are simple enough for your entire team to use across iPad, Mac or PC.

Not being able to report quickly & efficiently
When you’re dealing with shareholders and investors who have a stake in your business, you need to be able to report quickly and efficiently when they ask for an update on their investment. Choose an intuitive system that provides you with a wide variety of retail insights, so you can always be on top of your game. This way you will be able to go into as much detail as your shareholders require, and if they want to dig deeper and learn more about a certain facet of the business, you will be able to do that as well.

Ignoring the unique spatial needs of your shoppers
If you want your brick-and-mortar store to earn its keep, your space and retail attendants should appeal to the needs of potential shoppers. There is no one-size-fits-all approach in this regard - it all depends on the nature of your product and the personalities of your target demographic. This is where prior planning comes in. Know your shoppers inside out before you even as much as choose a location for your store. Then make sure that the ambience you create within your space speaks their stylistic language from the moment they set foot in the door, and train your attendants to provide seamless assistance from start to finish.

For example, if your store sells fast-fashion sunglasses, you may find it makes all the difference to keep your merchandise unlocked, so shoppers can try them on freely without having to ask for access. This type of clientele also responds well to younger shop attendants who encourage them to get creative with live videos and Instagram pictures in the store.

Not riding that all-important trend wave
If you prefer to ignore trends and stick to your guns despite an obvious shift in the preferences of your target demographic, you are pretty much dead in the water. A major part of the appeal of owning and managing an independent retail environment in South Africa at the moment is the shorter forward-planning models that allow for quicker adaptation to trend shifts and seasonal weather patterns. Use this to your advantage!

For example - heatwave in the middle of winter? Hold back on the deliveries of some of your winter stock and buy in some more summer gear to capitalise on the sudden need for short sleeves and open toes.

Not playing where your buyers play
Did you know that some South African businesses generate up to 80% of their online sales directly from Instagram? That’s quite the impressive statistic. It also means that you need to know where your target demographic hangs out online. Will they respond to a Facebook carousel or would you get better traction with local influencer campaigns? Find out where they hang out and how they like to interact with their favourite brands; then make sure that they are able to find yours without having to venture out of their comfort zone.

By sidestepping these pitfalls, you will be laying the groundwork for a nimble retail environment that will allow you to think on your feet and stay relevant in a time of unprecedented change and development. Get it done, and do it properly so you can put your creative energy to good use in other aspects of your burgeoning business. Then go out and carpe that beautiful diem!


 

Related News

Woolworths carves out market share in SA
27/11/2019 - 10:11
In Australia, David Jones's sales declined 2.1%, with the company saying a store refurbishment contributed to the decline.

Push and pull strategies work together to keep consumers coming back for more
26/11/2019 - 10:20
The retail sector is under increasing pressure as consumers have shrinking disposable income in a strained economy. Maintaining share of wallet is critical. Relying solely on a push route to market strategy from manufacturers into retailers is not enough to get consumers buying products. A pull strategy needs to coexist with the push to drive brand consumption. Integrating these strategies requires intelligent and insightful decision-making. This, in turn, requires data generated through smart technology which provides line of sight across the value chain from manufacturer to distribution, retailer to the consumer.

Exclusive leases must fall: Commission cracks whip on Shoprite, Pick n pay, Spar, Woolies
26/11/2019 - 09:57
The Competition Commission Inquiry into Grocery Retail, published on Monday, called for an end to the exclusive leases negotiated by national retail chains in all shopping malls across the country in a bid to open up access to markets for smaller players.

Today’s customers are loyal to speed and convenience, not brands
25/11/2019 - 11:15
Consumer expectations are rapidly shifting as technologies such as mobile, geolocation, social media and increasingly, Internet of Things devices and wearables, connect people to a world of easily accessible information and convenient services. With the ability to browse, compare and order with a few swipes and taps, consumers are becoming trained to value convenience and service above nearly anything else.

Gearing FMCG manufacturing for the red season spike and maximising profits all year round
25/11/2019 - 11:03
As we enter the festive season, demand for Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) increases rapidly, often leaving manufacturers scrambling to fulfill orders from their distribution channel. If demand cannot be met, then loss of revenue is inevitable. However, over-production is not an ideal solution either, as it can leave manufacturers sitting with unsold stock that costs money to store.