NOW that we are no longer in an economic recession, how long will it take before shops see more shoppers?
Budgets are still under huge strain and face pressure from increasing living costs, rising debt and political implosions.
According to Andre Rosslee, head of wholesale and retail for Business Banking Africa at Absa, there is no single solution for retailers.
“But the good news is that there are ways that businesses in the wholesale and retail space can manage losses and find gaps that can become growth opportunities.”
Key tips for businesses
- Differentiate your business through top-notch customer service and make your customers feel valued. Customer service is the heart of retail. To meet consumer wants and needs requires more than just meetings and slogans – people want to feel special and valued, so appreciate them. Clever retailers use the data collected from social media to provide customers with personal shopping experiences.
- Manage your margins. Anyone who has worked in retail or wholesale knows the need to maintain the right stock levels for high-demand products and slower-moving items.
- Look after your staff by recognising and rewarding your staff members’ hard work. This way you make sure your staff is energized to work to achieve your business objectives. In an industry where staff usually work long hours – and especially over holidays and weekends – it is important to show them that you appreciate them.
- Make sure you have an up-to-date, user-friendly but secure electronic banking machine in your store. A recent Ipsos study found that the number of South African online shoppers is expected to triple in the next few years, indicating a strong need for secure, wireless web-based payment services.
- Consider what promotions are on offer. Promotions are a tool to lure shoppers into stores and increase online sales. Retailers cannot simply place products on promotion without thinking of the impact it will have on their margins. Last year’s Black Friday drastic sales promo is an example of how badly planned promotions create the wrong result.
- Plan for the busy days. The busiest shopping season is between September and December. Often businesses experience three times as many sales in these months as there are over the rest of the year.