Retail is a juggling act of managing stock, customers, staff, and hundreds of other tasks. So it is very easy to overlook things that seem insignificant. Unfortunately, some of these can have major repercussions for your business, damaging your bottom line.
We’ve identified five common mistakes that many retailers continue to make.
#1: Outdated Inventory Information
Without up-to-date information on stock levels and availability, you could be losing sales. In this day and age, customers are no longer as prepared to wait for stock to come in on back-order and are perfectly happy to order online from another vendor.
Accurate inventory reporting can help you maintain optimal stock levels at all times so you can satisfy your customers when they are ready to make a purchase. An accurate inventory system will also inform you on the products that aren’t selling and prevent you from accumulating a surplus of outdated or unpopular products from sitting idly on your shelves.
#2: Not Collecting Customer Information
There’s never been a time when learning about your customer was this easy. Modern point of sale (POS) systems can track how much money your average customer spends per store, how frequently customers come into your store, and determine what is bringing them into your store. All of this information can be used to create a finely tuned marketing strategy to help your business grow.
Loyalty schemes are an easy way to gather information about customers and track their engagement activities with your store. As a plus, loyalty programs can help build a stronger bond between you and customers – they’ll be less inclined to shop elsewhere if your loyalty scheme offers a benefit that only available when they come to your store.
#3: Paying Too Little Attention To Your VIP Customers
Who are your best customers and how much of your annual profits do they contribute to? Instead of being focused on what your average customer is after, attention needs to be paid to the type of customer who is bringing in the greatest profits. For example, if 60% of your customers are male, but 80% of your profits come from female customers, it would make more sense to invest in marketing activities that attract more women into your store.
This closely ties with the need to collect information about customers and their habits, and being smart about the data you mine from your point of sale systems (see mistake #2).
#4 Not Having a Unified Point of Sale (POS) and Accountancy Software
There are clear benefits to ensuring that your Point of Sale systems are integrated into your Accounting software. The key benefit being it doesn’t require double handling of sales information to feed into another system. A less obvious but extremely useful benefit of using a system that has been built to look after both your point of sale and accounting needs, is that it provides a unified experience. Frontline and administrative staff won’t need to learn how use two distinct platforms and all staff will be able to manage the workflow with little training.
#5 Forcing Customers To Use Outdated Technology
With the rise of smartphones and mobile computing, customers have become very tech savvy in recent years. For a business to be perceived as relevant and up-to-date, it is important to keep up with modern technology to meet customer’s expectations. After all, if your customers are moving on from the old ways of making payments, they expect the same from you. Touch screen cash registers and contactless payment options are now expected in stores and anything less than feels antiquated and out of touch with today’s customers.