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Ideas for Retail businesses to stay relevant and grow in 2020 and beyond

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December 13, 2019
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Ideas for Retail businesses to stay relevant and grow in 2020 and beyond

Starting a retail business is easy. Even running a retail business is not that hard. But to sustain your business in this highly competitive world is a praise-worthy thing.

For over two decades now, eBay and Amazon have overshadowed the eCommerce world like a tsunami. In a world where even retail giants (I’m looking at you Forever 21) have a hard time surviving, small businesses need to work extra hard to sustain and to succeed.

Amazon, eBay, and Target can spend millions of dollars on marketing and merchandising without even worrying about prices or retailers. They have the money, and they can spend it like it’s going out of style. The primary goal for them is to dominate at all costs.

Fortunately, in a retail business, there is no such thing as complete domination. Regardless of how much money, time, and resources these giants invest, we’ve seen that people look forward to innovators and small scale businesses, again and again, to experience something new.

There is more than one idea (or one way) to deliver a product.

With Seth Godin’s Purple Cow analogy, it is just about creating something new out of the blue. The theory suggests that if you are driving down the road and you see a cow, you will ignore and carry on with your journey. But, if you see a purple cow, you will stop the car, even get out of the vehicle, and check out the cow. Why? Because the cow is not ordinary.

Apply the same strategy in your retail business. If you want to survive, or at least get a sweet spot for your target market, you must deliver something new, something fresh in the market. 

Fighting these humongous giants may lead you to failure. But, not trying at all will surely lead you to fail. So, it is best that you give it your all while trying to compete with them. The trick to not only surviving but thriving in the competitive retail market is to narrow your focus and hit the target.

How can retail founders find success in such a neck-to-neck competitive market? We all know that it is not just a fight for strength anymore. It is about speed and relevance and maneuverability.

The good thing is that you came across this post. In this article, you’ll learn how to differentiate your business from other retail giants and how to stay relevant and grow in 2020 and beyond.

These are not just random tips; these tips are gathered through a lot of real-world experience and time invested with experts. To thrive, must follow these tips and stay consistent with your approach. Good things take time, and if you spend the time applying these tips, you’ll match (if not beat) your competitors and make your place in the market.

Ideas for eCommerce companies and brands to stay relevant

Shopping with AR

Whether it is architecture or real estate, everyone is using AR, AI, and machine learning to stay ahead of the game. The AR market is expected to reach $133 B by 2021.

Brands like Target, Amazon, and Lowes are leveraging the power of AR technology to bridge the gap between the physical and digital world.

Amazon Scout is a fully-automated system that utilizes the power of AR to plan the route of delivery and navigate itself to shoppers.

Shopify is innovating itself by using Shopify AR. It is a tool for businesses that help create product experience for users.

eCommerce businesses are now moving towards AR, and companies are investing in AR mobile apps. Who knows, soon you will be able to buy everything without even leaving your home.

Product Customization

Brands like Giella and Shespokemakeup use product customization to make help customers build their makeup products.

With Zazzle, you can develop personalized gift products and send them to your loved ones. More and more eCommerce stores are shifting towards customized wrapping, embroidery, and design your bags

The good thing about customized is that the product is tailored as per the need of the customer, which makes it unique and stylish.

Constant Branding is the Key

Why do you think Coca Cola and Pepsi still create those ads? Doesn’t everyone already know about their product?

Of course, everyone does. But humans are naturally forgetful beings. Regardless of how much we popular a brand is, branding is something that is a necessity for everyone. 

These days everyone is facing a fearsome competition. The only way to get ahead of everyone else is branding yourself.

Whether you are an eCommerce store or a digital agency, branding will keep your brand promise alive.

Successful brands show authenticity, emotions, and real strength with consistent branding.

Evolve or Die

Alan Deutschman, in his best-selling book, Change or Die, talks about three keys of change: Relate, Repeat and Reframe.

When you relate your brand values with those of customers, they form an emotional bond with your brand.

It takes many repetitions to make the relationship stronger. When you repeat an excellent experience, a customer starts treating you as an authentic and trustworthy brand.

Ultimately you give the customer a new perspective, reframe their thoughts into thinking good about your brand.

And when all of these keys are met, the customer will not think about your brand as a regular brand.

Your attitude, your approach will help the customer change their beliefs about you, and you’ll be included in the good books of the customer. 

Fail Faster, Succeed Sooner

Since birth, I was passionate about computers. I took every computer-related course and did my best to learn computer programming (Or at least I tried my best). But after some time, I realized that computers are not my cup of tea. I was bored by coding all day. This was not something I felt good about. The feeling with which I started was not the same. I was sure when I began failing insignificant subjects of computers.

But, instead of crying over it, I switched my career. In college, I was good at talking to people. So, I opted for a marketing degree. Everything went great. I completed my degree and started an eCommerce business. Right in the first six months, I was faced with a family problem, and my business closed down. I was devastated, but I was not willing to give up.

This is the thing about giving up. The more you feel that you’ve failed, the more you will stop trying. In the retail business, failure is part of everyday business — a mess-up from your vendor, an unreasonable product return from your customer.

Hire qualified staff

Jack Welch, in his must-read-book-for-entrepreneurs, Winning, talks about getting the right people on the bus and wrong people off the bus in the early stage of your startup.

In the retail business, it is necessary to develop a strict hiring process. The best advice I can give is to hire slowly but fire fast. Take time to analyze the person, will the person be the right fit for your company? Is he technically sound?

Another thing to consider is if you actually have the time to invest in hiring, training, managing, and shaping the right employees. If you’re the business owner or store manager, you may have your hands full with other tasks, in which case it’s important to look for qualified HR managers or help one of your current employees get the training they need to take on this role.

The goal of entrepreneurs should be to hire people who are smarter in their respective fields. This is the key takeaway that you need to take in your grave.

Let’s Wrap it up

Retail store owners are on the brisk of closing down. To stay relevant, it is essential that they keep innovating and use ways to attract customers to retail stores.

Just as Kindle didn’t drive people to buy physical books, people will not stop buying from retails stores, but, in the end, it is all about staying relevant to the market. If you keep evolving, there is not a chance that your retail store will face any problem.

Moosa Hemani
Moosa Hemani
Moosa Hemani owns SEtalks.com, an Inbound Marketing Agency that help clients grow their traffic and leads using all Inbound Marketing channels. 

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