How to Grow Your Retail Business
By Jackson Versitano, Country Manager Retail, Lightspeed
Working out ways to grow your retail business can always be put on the back burner. Figuring out just what you’d like to do with your business, how many stores you want to open, which new items of stock you’d like to start selling, how much revenue you’d like to bring in each year, and so on, and so on.
Well, what’s stopping you?! We’ve put together our favourite ideas we believe all modern day retailers need to try if they have their eyes on growing, expanding, or scaling their retail business. Let’s begin.
Expand to new locations
You’d likely expect to see this idea on a list like this. Adding new stores to your retail empire is a common expansion strategy for most businesses. Setting up shop in different locations will not only allow you to bring in more revenue from other parts of the world, but it will also increase your brand awareness, too.
You need to make sure you’re aware of two things before you start expanding: your local strategy and the standardised components of your business.
You shouldn’t aim to create carbon copies of your original store. Yes, we know. Your branding and messaging should remain consistent throughout your business. But, in the words of Chris Eubank, ‘why not add a little spice?’ Every shop you open should have a bit of local flavour which will enable you to connect with local shoppers and gain their business in the process. Of course, if you’re opening a new location down the road from your current store, there’s not likely to be much difference between them. But, you should endeavour to celebrate the individuality and locality of each new store you open.
The standardised processes, components, techniques, and technologies should, however, remain consistent between each store. Using the same software and hardware to run your stores will make your business much more manageable. Setup becomes simpler, and it’s easier to train new employees (no matter what store they’re assigned to) when you’re using a uniformed system to run your locations.
Take Lightspeed ePOS for Retail, for example. Neal’s Yard Remedies have expanded to over forty stores. And, they use Lightspeed in each of them. You see, if you’re thinking of scaling, you have to think about the little things, too. Maybe you have some staff that are relocating but want to stay with the company? Employee acquisition is not cheap so this should be a frictionless experience if you have staff looking to move. Or, you need a standardised operating procedure for employee onboarding, which involves using a point-of-sale system? You need standardisation and process in your business whenever you think about scaling. Otherwise, growing can become too disorganised, chaotic, and messy.
Expand to other sales channels
We’ll keep this short and sweet. You can’t just rely on brick and mortar stores to survive as a truly profitable retailer in 2023. There are so many different avenues through which to sell or, at the very least, advertise your business offerings.
- Grow your online presence. Use social media as much as possible and show people yourself, your business, your employees, and your brand.
- Sell your products online. Or, try to grow your eCommerce business. You can integrate your eCommerce site with your ePOS system so you can centrally manage your business across multiple channels, too.
- Expand to other online marketplaces. Etsy? eBay? Amazon? Online marketplaces enable your business to leverage the reach of huge companies to sell your products to people who have never heard of you before. The marketplaces in question will, of course, take a small percentage of your revenue. But, the brand awareness you’ll receive as a result will be more than worth the price of admission.
Grow your product and service offerings
Adding new items or services to your catalogue can help you grow your business. Think about any products that are selling really well at the moment. You can check this with Lightspeed Reporting (if you were wondering). Is there anything related to that item that you can sell? Are there items that shoppers are requesting in particular? Is there anything they really need, but you aren’t selling yet?
Let the data of your retail sales and public opinion from your customers decide your stock. Rather than a simple opinion or preference. You may find niches and avenues you can follow that will net your business a lot more revenue in the long run.
If you’re a health and beauty store, you could offer discounts on products whenever your customers bring empty bottles and containers to be refilled. Or, if you’re a bike shop, you could offer free repairs if the bike can be repaired in under 10 minutes, or if the cost of labour is below £20.
Pop up in other places
If you’re really set on expanding into other geographic markets, but don’t have the funds (or the confidence) to set up a fully fledged retail store, consider setting up a pop-up store instead.
In addition to helping you minimise spending (retailers can save up to 80% by opening a pop-up vs. a traditional store), pop-up stores allow you to test the waters in a particular location so you can determine whether or not it’ll be worth it to set up a more permanent store.
Are you looking to grow your retail business?
Managing your retail store doesn’t need to be difficult. Whether you’re looking to scale and grow at speed, automate manual processes, improve efficiency, or deliver world-class customer experience, you’ll likely need something to help you along the way.
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