The retail industry is the goldmine that all aspiring businesses want to explore. In 2019, total retail sales worldwide have reached $24.78 trillion. This leads to intense competition to stand out between small and medium brands, especially at this time when COVID-19 strongly impacts the global economy.
To attract more consumers, business owners are looking for more advanced retail business ideas that are affordable yet effective. Today, we gladly introduce 9 popular strategies for retail stores to boost sales and customer satisfaction at ease!
Connect online and offline platforms
Online-to-Offline business model, or O2O, is not an unfamiliar term for retailers. According to research, 73% of customers prefer more than one channel to shop. Although nowadays online stores may be considered as a more convenient way, 62% of consumers still affirm that they’d like to buy from physical stores since they can “see, touch, feel and try out” each item.
That’s why many stores are finding new innovative retail ideas to connect two platforms together. Customers also support this decision: 3 out of 5 buyers say technology investment is making their experience better, both online and in-store.
The most common method to make this vision come true is integrating a POS system.
Point-of-Sale software makes it easier for store operators to manage both online and offline orders and inventory. Data is seamlessly updated to maintain the best customer experience.
For Magento stores, there are many great Magento POS providers to assist their omnichannel journey. Take a look at ConnectPOS – an award-winning POS system tailor-made for retail businesses. Some amazing features of this POS are:
- Compatible with both PC and mobile devices (Android and iOS)
- Update orders, products, customers info and taxation between inventory system and the Magento POS in real-time
- Support barcode scanning
- Buy online, pick up/refund/exchange in-store
- Customize and print barcodes
- Support 20+ payment methods, from cash to cards
- 14-days free trial
- Apply cutting-edge technology in AI Facial Recognition and PWA app
You can see the full feature list here.
An effective Magento POS software can improve sales performance in different industries such as Fashion, Cosmetics, Furniture or even the F&B. All big names in the retail business, like Walmart or Nike, have implemented POS into their ecosystem and achieved huge success, not only in sales but also in customer services.
Start a Print-on-Demand service
Print-on-Demand is a rising trend among small retailers.
Print-on-Demand brands work with customers to create products based on their design. The reason behind this popular retail business idea is you don’t have to do much – your suppliers will take care of everything, from printing to shipping.
You will only print the products after the orders have been fulfilled. There’s no need for having a warehouse, which will cut down lots of fees.
There are diverse choices of products that a Print-on-Demand can serve: Clothing, furniture, accessories and many more. You can focus your business based on your expertise.
Connect with customers through membership programs
Customer loyalty will be the key to drive more recurring customers back to your store. More than 90% of companies have integrated a type of loyalty programs. And you should not be the one in the remaining 10%!
Customers are familiar with reward points, gift cards and seasonal promotions. These retail business ideas are not only an amazing momentum to drive your sales but also a practical branding strategy. Starbucks is one of the brightest role models in implementing an efficient membership program.
For Magento stores, there are many extensions to support you in building user-friendly loyalty programs. Integrations are divided into two groups: Compound tools that include all loyalty programs or specialized extensions that only focus on one type such as reward points or gift cards.
Other technology, like POS systems or social commerce, also embrace the power of customers’ loyalty in their functions.
Take the advantage of social media
No one can deny the influence of social networks on our modern shopping behaviours: Most customers surf the Internet before actually deciding on a purchase. 30% of consumers say they would like to buy directly through social media networks.
That’s why store owners are now shifting to an omnichannel retail experience by selling directly on popular social platforms like Facebook or Instagram. Retailers can show customers’ reviews and products on their social account to attract more interaction and build trust from potential buyers.
40% of merchants are using SNS to increase revenue. For a more detailed number, 1 in 4 business owners is selling through Facebook. Facebook and Google follow the trend by developing online shopping functions on their platforms.
The Live Chat is usually integrated with messaging apps, such as WhatsApp, so store operators can answer all questions as soon as possible.
Implement affiliate programs
Right now, many store owners are fond of affiliate marketing: 81% of businesses are implementing this retail business idea. This retail business idea brings your brand closer to more potential customers since you will be promoted on partners’ sites.
After registering as a partner of your brand, affiliates will get unique links to drive traffic back to your store. They will receive a commission for each complete desired action. Normally, affiliate orders account for more than 20% of the annual revenue of the business.
Sell handmade/organic products
Another great small shop idea is selling your handmade products that customers cannot find anywhere else. Common products are food & drinks, soap, embroidery, clothing and accessories.
Selling organic products is one of the best retail business ideas for the rural area. The worldwide sales of organic food have increased more than 6 times, from $15 billion to $95 billion in 20 years (1999-2018). Consumers are shifting to a healthier choice, and your farm is having huge opportunities to increase sales and transform the whole business model into the retail industry.
Integrate a suitable delivery service
People love to have orders delivered right at their doorstep: Only for restaurants, digital ordering and delivery have grown 300% faster than dine-in traffic since 2014.
Especially in the time of COVID-19, this innovative retail idea is showing its importance in differentiating great retailers from others. To maintain and improve your business, it’s better to deliver great customer service by flawless shipping policies.
Find a niche market
If you hesitate to compete in a large market, there are always niche products for you to begin your retail business. You can focus your power on smaller customer groups that have constant needs for some items.
For example, you want to start your retail business in pet products, so choose a specific animal to be your highlight.
Don’t try to cover all parts of the market since 99.99% there’re already big suppliers in your chosen field.
Catch up with hot trends
One of the quickest ways to make your brand popular is selling hot products. This may seem an unstable method, since trends can quickly come and go, yet it can be the push for your development.
Starting from items that have a high search volume, you can gain popularity for your brand quickly. Later when you’ve built a regular customer base, you can shift to a more diverse direction.
The retail industry is a huge opportunity for ambitious store owners, especially for small and medium-sized businesses. Finding the best strategy to make the most of your potential will guarantee your future success. We hope that with our articles, you’ve had some practical retail business ideas to build up tailor-made plans for your development.