A store is profitable, the store is good. A store runs at a loss, it’s bad. For many brands, stores are still measured solely on profitability where sales are compared with cost per square meter. Of course, there are exceptions that confirm the rule where companies have realized that it is a misleading yardstick, but to prove a point, we generalize a bit.
The wrong thing about measuring profitability per square meter is that we basically don’t always know what makes a retail strategy work and what doesn’t. There is no given answer because brands, just like personalities, are unique. People are not rational and we do not mainly choose products according to relevance, price and time. If we did, there would be no brands competing with each other.
To create successful brands, it must work long-term, strategically and continuously. Companies need to build strong brands for their target audience and ensure that they are constantly relevant. Whether it is about supply or communication messages.
Although it should be quite simple, we have a tendency to make things more complex than they need to be. We do it to justify ourselves. It shall seem more advanced than it is, as we think we are not needed otherwise. An anxiety that affects profitability.
Here are three concrete tips that brands need to work with to succeed with their retail strategy and to drive traffic and sales in your store.
If marketing is like inviting someone on a date, the branding is the reason they say yes. Without the brand’s foundation and stability (and market budget), stores will not be successful in the long run.
All kinds of relationships require continuity. It must become obvious. We fall in love with someone and they fall in love with us. Not with intensity. Not because we remember their birthday or buy a nice gift, but because we do little things every day. We say good morning, we look them in the eye, we ask them about their day, we care.
Brands must be there for their customers. Creating relationships, honesty and continuity are a must for success in the future.
Say a consumer enters a mall with 220 stores, the visitor may stay for an hour and visit four or five stores. Making a purchase in one or two. And eat once.
Use the digital communication channels the commercial real estate owner often invests in to get the visitor’s attention. The visitor will also pass several areas on their walk through the shopping center, which allows to be seen several times. But it also means that you only have your attention for a short amount of time. Therefore, the copy needs to be simple, short and clear. And the content in general must be attractive and attract attention in the noise.
Once in the store, you need to think about how the customer moves and what you want to achieve. How many seconds do you have? Promotional tables can drive sales by showing the product / price and the products below. Some screen might drive brand and inspiration, some information while the screen behind the checkout drives loyalty membership and the next purchase.
A touch screen at the checkout can act as a sales tool or run e-commerce, without competing on the store’s profitability.
Ultimately, the key to a successful retail strategy is to stop making it so difficult for us. Simplicity, clarity and relevance should permeate everything from marketing to the actual visit and purchase in the store.
If we just stop making it harder than it is, we can promise that more people will succeed with their retail strategy!