In the world of retail and ecommerce, shoppers have many options to find a product and purchase. With the omnichannel experience of shopping in-store, at home or on your mobile device, consumers now have the ability to compare prices, availability and services with a few clicks. SO, what are you doing to separate yourself from the competition?
Today, Scott Drzonsc, Gearfire’s National Sales Manager, will look at three areas in your business that can help separate yourself from the competition, and stand out in the ever-changing competitive world of retail.
Start Inside – What processes are in place?
The first thing to review is your current state of your business, internally. Do you have the right processes in place? Do they need to be updated? Do you have processes at all? With the right business processes in place, you can be laser focused in many areas of your business. This can including hiring the right employees, finding new customers, satisfying your current customers and being efficient in every aspect of your operations.
To start improving your processes, you must first understand your customers and their needs. The second step is to understand your competition, what they do well and what they struggle with.
Below are examples of recommended types of processes you should have in place:
- Employee training – How are you educating and empowering your employees?
- Satisfying current customers – Are they satisfied? What can be done to elevate their satisfaction?
- Finding new customers – Are you marketing to the correct demographic? Do you tell potential customers what separates you from the competition?
- Value added service for customers – What are you adding to the customers experience? Do you go above and beyond in making their experience a positive one?
These are just a few samples of business processes that can be put in place to separate you from your competition. When you strengthen and improve your business processes, your employees will have that prideful, confident feeling that will spill over into the customers’ retail journey.
Know your Competition – Sounds easy, right?
The second step is to study your local competition. Here are some questions to start your competitor analysis:
- Who is your competition?
- What are they doing better than you?
- What are you doing better than your competition?
- Have you been to your competitors’ store/website recently?
- Who is the competition marketing too?
- Are they expanding or contracting business activities?
Use these questions to create an analysis of processes in your business to further separate you from the competition. If you have solid business relationships with your distributors/suppliers, I would even suggest asking them for information about your competitors. You can learn a lot by asking the right questions.
Customer Relationships – events, services and education.
Your customer base is what drives your day-to-day business. It is something that can make or break you. Below are several questions that can build your customer analysis, and help create a business process to improve your customer relationships.
- Who is your customer base?
- Would your customers suggest your business/services to colleagues and friends?
- What additional services/offers do you give your loyal customers?
- What additional services/offers do all customers receive?
- How are you educating your existing customer base?
- Do you specialize in something that your customers actually need?
- Does your marketing speak to what you specialize in?
Strengthen your customer relationships. Host a “customer appreciation” event at your facility. Open the doors to your customer base and make it fun. Have a raffle, free food, drinks and specials for that day and really make your customer base feel welcomed and appreciated. You can also encourage your current customers to bring a friend to expand your customer base. Show these potential customers what separates you from the competition.
Separating your business from the competition is extremely important in the retail world. When you find that niche product or service that you can focus on, you add value in the eyes of your customers. For example, boast “home protection and self defense courses”, or “your only local Colt Dealer”. Showcase whatever it is that makes your business the obvious choice:
Thank you for taking the time to read about ecommerce business strategies. I hope that you find this information helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please share in the comments box. I would love to hear from you!