Interesting story about the changing face of retail in the New York Times.
It seems that consumers are frustrated by too many items to choose from when shopping. And even with that, they’re not finding what they’re looking for.
Big brand retailers like Macy’s plan to send merchandisers and planners into stores to talk directly with store personnel about what’s selling, what’s not selling and what customers are asking for.
You’re kidding right? This is a big retail revolution? Nope. This is Retail 101.
Show me a buyer who isn’t in the store and I’ll show you a retailer who has lost their way — case in point, Macy’s.
THE REAL WORLD RETAILING TAKEAWAY
Beware the retail revolution.
It’s going to take time, but with the right leadership, big brand retailers will get it.
Take a look at one of my retail faves, Best Buy, who offers great products coupled with great customer service and knowledgeable staff members.
So how do you, as an entrepreneurial retailer beat the big boys to the punch?
Hire the right people. It goes without saying. The right personality makes all the difference. Hire for personality, for inspiration. Then teach them operations.
Have a customer service model in place. This is everything from phone etiquette, to how you’re going to handle returns. And customer service can be internal as well. What are the rules of the road for employee interactions and issues? Make sure you’re practicing great customer service internally and outward toward your customers.
Listen to your customers and react to what they’re telling you. It’s that old, “did you find everything your were looking for?”, and then doing nothing with it. Keep track of what customers are looking for that you’re not carrying. You’ll probably find some trends that will lead you to order merchandise that customers want – novel concept, eh?
Do anything to please the customer. The customer is always right. Period. End of story. No need to say more. It’s easier to keep a customer than find a new one. Make sure you’re bending over backward to please those people who come in, buy things, and keep your business in business.
How are you going to stay ahead of the retail revolution.
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