The retail industry is thriving. “Bolstered by a strong labor market, growth in disposable personal income, and elevated consumer confidence, 2018 experienced strong retail sales,” wrote a contributor to Deloitte.1 Retail companies should capitalize on the current state of the retail industry by implementing growth strategies.
3 Growth Strategies for Retail Companies in a Strong Economy
For retail companies, organizational growth equals greater revenue and industry influence. Here are three growth strategies that may benefit your company:
1. Implement a digital sales strategy that promotes trust
Sales companies have changed their go-to growth strategies. According to 2019 Retail Industry Outlook,2
“To stay competitive, many retailers have shifted their investment strategies over the past 10-20 years. They’ve moved from growth via new stores to growth via big investments in all areas of the business—for example, launching new digital sales models…”
There are a variety of digital sales models and strategies that stimulate retail growth. IBM found success in creating a trust-building digital sales approach.
In a 2017 report3, Digital Marketing Institute explained that consumers were showing more trust in people and communities than they had in the past. IBM noticed this behavioral trend and capitalized on it by creating a digital sales strategy that put people at the forefront of the brand. The company also invested in a digital mastery program “to help sellers use digital tools and strategies to establish and nurture meaningful relationships.”
To grow your company, create digital sales strategies that build trust with customers by giving them more contact with people and encourage knowledge sharing and relationship-building.
2. Develop a core competency for product fulfillment
The idea of product fulfillment may seem simple to a consumer, but retailers know it can be quite the opposite. Complications arise when retail companies use outdated product fulfillment processes, which increase supply chain risk, lack visibility, and don’t react quickly to unexpected supply chain events, per Supply Chain 24/7.4
What many retail companies end up doing to upgrade their fulfillment processes is replace their legacy fulfillment systems. Supply Chain 24/7 advised against this and urged retail leaders to create an order fulfillment and management core competency that gives retail companies flexibility to change their business processes without having to “rip and replace” old fulfillment systems each time.
Developing a core competency for product fulfillment speeds up the fulfillment process and eliminates the need to regularly implement new fulfillment systems. This frees up time and funds that can be spent on other growth initiatives.
3. Train retail staff with an LMS
Providing retail training for seasonal and permanent staff is a simple growth strategy that can be very effective. Many employees prefer online retail training because it can be self-paced and is constantly accessible to learners via mobile device. Online retail training is best delivered with a learning management system (LMS).
By meeting the training needs of retail staff, a learning management system helps retail companies grow their sales departments. For example, an LMS could be used to better train specialty staff to sell high-value items, such as fine jewelry in a department store. By more effectively training floor staff in any department, retail companies can increase sales and help their business grow.
An LMS can also be used to quickly onboard and train seasonal employees who man stores during the holidays. This can help ensure companies are well-positioned for a profitable year, since holiday sales represent 20-30 percent of annual retail sales, according to the National Retail Federation.6
Now Is the Perfect Time for Retail Companies to Focus on Growth
Because the economy is in such a good place, now is a great time for retail companies to focus on growth. Growing in a sustainable way now will set your company up for success later.
In addition to implementing the growth strategies your organization already has in place, creating a digital sales strategy that inspires trust, developing a core competency for product fulfillment, and training retail staff with an LMS will help your company experience measurable growth sooner than you might expect.
1, 2 Deloitte. 2019 Retail Industry Outlook. https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/consumer-business/articles/retail-distribution-industry-outlook.html.
3 Digital Marketing Institute. Digital leaders share their insights on digital transformation success. https://digitalmarketinginstitute.com/blog/digital-leaders-share-their-insights-on-digital-transformation-success
4 Supply Chain 24/7. Secrets to successful order fulfillment. https://www.supplychain247.com/article/secrets_to_successful_order_fulfillment.
5 eLearning Industry. How to train your customers for long-term business success. https://elearningindustry.com/customer-training-business-success
6 The National Retail Federation. Winter holiday FAQs. https://nrf.com/winter-holiday-faqs">https://nrf.com/winter-holiday-faqs.