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New Year, New Goal: Updating the Retail Store

Now that Christmas is over, it is time to strike the appropriate balance between sales and productivity to update our retail stores and make the necessary improvements for next season.

We must begin with initiatives for the New Year, focusing on attracting our customers all year. And as always, we must continue adding new ones.

It is very important to be in tune with our customers, and our physical stores are the best advertising agencies that we have. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to outdo ourselves from one day to another as we improve our customer service and treatment.

We can’t be afraid of launching into online sales.

Regardless of the retail sector we manage (food, fashion, home appliances) and the size of our company, we can’t be afraid of launching into online sales. We venture into online sales specifically to fortify ourselves with all the tools at our disposal, creating new business opportunities without large investments.

The explosion of online sales does not happen by itself. We need to aim for a real presence on the Web, running it personally. Our contact with customers through social networks is vital and must be strengthened daily.

In the retail sector,  you must maintain both your online and physical presence.

The new consumers are experts and are perfectly familiar with the online channel, hence the importance encourage it, but obviously, without losing sight of our physical stores. We can provide our customers seamless integration between the two channels — both physical and online — since, in many cases, the customer can buy on the web and pick up the product in the store. Recall that one of the advantages of having our businesses online is that they are available with a single click. On the other hand, in the physical store we may need, depending on the product, a specialized vendor that is not always the same, for example, the one that is the best prepared or knows the information that the customer requires. A good option for countering this in physical stores is to install screens in our online access aisles, where customers can consult all the product features.

Regarding the development of our brand, whether it consists of a store or chain of stores, the main goal for this year should be to strenghten the relationships we havewith our customers. We must get them to shop with us regularly, maintaining direct contact with the brand — through loyalty plans, offers and other benefits. Our brand must be able to instil in the customer the need to buy in our stores.

Although new ways to adapt and update our traditional businesses emerge in retail every day, much remains to be done.. The key is to stay awake to these new formulas and spare no efforts in keeping updated, so that we can stand at the forefront of our sector.

About Julio Ibañez

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Retail Executive, specialized in supermarket management & big box formats. Currently Head of Assortment Development at Bravo Supermarkets. More than 15 years of international experience in the Retail sector, in areas such as Operations, Purchasing and Consulting.

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