Although the retail industry is evolving at lightning pace, there are still some traditions that retailers thrive on – Boxing Day sales, loyalty cards, late night opening once a week, to name a few. And once a set-up or promotion has been trialled and seems to draw the crowds, the temptation can be to repeat that idea, regardless of its subsequent success rate.
But what has worked previously may no longer prove relevant, as the unpredictable behavior of today’s consumers throws many retailers’ existing methodologies out of the window. Influences such as longer working hours, multi-channel routes to purchase and dependence on technology have disrupted the existing rules of retail.
Drawing on past understandings and historic trends to run stores can lead to a disconnect between how retailers are currently running their business and how customers are behaving. This may result in significant operational overspend or failure to optimize profitability – not to mention a poor shopper experience.
For example, here are four common mistakes that retailers often make in-store based on assumptions:
1. Predicting peak periods - Just because Saturday afternoon used to be the busiest time of the week, doesn’t mean it still is. Providing an outstanding in-store experience relies on having the right operational set-up for the number of anticipated visitors.
2. Stale layout - Familiarity is good, but failing to adapt the store’s look and feel to modern shopping habits could reduce its customer appeal.
3. Poorly optimised promotions - Special offers work best if they’re seasonal or tapping into current preferences, and are displayed in the right way. Customers crave timeliness and convenience as well as a good price.
4. Staff distribution - Not enough staff on the shop floor mean consumers are walking out of your store empty handed, even if they entered wanting to purchase something.
Experian Footfall’s new report series, Acting on Insight, lifts the lid on the changing face of retail, offering retailers practical tips for better serving their customers by optimising their in-store shopping experience.
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