2019 has been a hard year for retail. We’ve seen stock values being driven down by low footfall and a huge number of retailers have had to reorganise themselves to stay relevant in this rapidly changing landscape.

In this blog post, we look at the strategies that retailers can undertake to ensure they’re staying relevant and surviving this rocky period.

Prioritise Product

For a long time companies have focused on marketing as the key to retail success. However, as seen in the case of Zara, success is in the product. Zara have a deep understanding of their customer and this enables them to make the product their customers truly want, as seen in the case of THAT dress!

Zara’s customer feedback loop and responsive supply chains that enable them to nail their product with such aplomb may be difficult for smaller retailers to mimic, but by introducing customer feedback early on in the decision-making process, brands can make sure they understand how their products will resonate.

Get Store Basics Right

The retail landscape is so competitive that retailers who can’t create an enticing store put themselves at a great disadvantage. As we discussed with Jonny Rose from Slaters, the physical store is the perfect place to create a loyal brand advocate so it needs to create the right impression.

This can be achieved through a clear uncluttered environment and staff who have been up-skilled so they can be genuinely helpful to the customer.

Focus On Your Core

The core customer is absolutely key, understanding who this is, what motivates them and how they buy, as well as their consumer journey,  is increasingly important. Going hunting for new customer groups when your core is underperforming can be tempting but, in reality, it just distracts from the issue and what can really drive success.

This is how companies like PrettyLittleThing and Missguided have grown so quickly, they are resolutely focused on their core in all aspects of the business from channel planning to product- giving themselves  a real advantage over competitors.

Don’t Hit The Discount Button Too Soon

Entering the discounting spiral can create long term brand damage. If your customers are holding off buying as they have become conditioned  to expect discount prices it’s incredibly hard to come back from this and achieve a strong full-price sell-through.

Brands who can hold off on discounting and hold their nerve, however hard that may be, will find it easier long term as the brand is not being devalued.

Trust In Millennials

Millennials are plugged into the latest trends and aren’t afraid to try new things. With this in mind, organisations should allow them to trial new small scale concepts. Their approach can help inject a retailer’s efforts with new initiatives that can be incredibly successful when trialled at an MVP level.

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