The retail industry in the US has unique characteristics. This is the country where a few primary retail players take up a large proportion (35%) of the whole market. Indeed, every consumer in the US knows big names such as Target, Walmart, or Home Depot. Therefore, opening a retail store in the US requires a lot of effort and understanding of the market. Knowing your struggles, we will discuss the essential steps you should do to open a retail location in the US.
Narrow down the target market
In a large and dispersive country like America, it is important to clearly define your target market. Are you planning to operate your store in different regions, or just focus on one city? Who are your potential customers and where do they often shop? Will you sell products from different industries or within a specific area?
Narrowing down your market like this can show the direction you need to go afterward. You need to understand the market and its consumers to generate suitable business strategies. In addition, you can recognize your competitors more easily based on this narrowed information.
Build relationships with vendors
Suppliers play an important role in the selling activities of any retail business. Building good relationships with vendors can not only help store owners maintain a smooth supply chain but also solve potential inventory problems. Moreover, with strong vendor relationships, you can potentially have more high-quality products at a lower price.
If you plan to import goods from overseas to the US, vendor relationships become even more important. In this process, remember to take into consideration the sourcing and logistics law, as well as customs and tax when building connections with your suppliers.
Make use of technology
Businesses often forget or do not focus on technology when first crafting their plan to open a retail location in the US. In an increasingly digital world, technology and eCommerce is the defining factor to upgrade your store to the next level. Even if you only own a small business, basic technological systems can save you a lot of time and efforts, as well as ensure better accuracy. Moreover, you can also open both online and offline stores and sync them together with powerful technology.
Among many software on the market, a Point of Sale (POS) system is the top technology for retailers, as it can eliminate repetitive manual tasks. It is the software that helps store owners to handle transactions, manage inventory, customers, and generate sales reports. Being a leading POS provider for retailers, ConnectPOS is a great system to try. In addition to the basic features of a POS, ConnectPOS also has excellent omnichannel features for a seamless connection between different selling touchpoints.
Establish policies and procedures
To maintain a smooth-running business, retailers in the US should establish clear policies and procedures from the start. Some of the must-have policies are rules for employees (dress code/ salary/ work shifts/ etc.), refund and exchange policies, and supply chain procedures. This information will help you set standards in your day-to-day operations. In addition, employee training should also be implemented to make sure your established rules are acknowledged and followed.
Connect with your customers
Don’t forget your customers when planning to open a retail location in the US. In the end, they are the ones who help you maintain your business. You already know how competitive the US retail market is – the big brands are dominating the market share. Therefore, it is crucial to develop good relationships with your customers from the very first day of opening to build trust.
Think about how you will show your appreciation to your customers, either in the form of greetings or special promotions. Loyalty programs are also a great idea to retain your customers (tip: this can be also supported by a POS system!).
Last but not least, make sure to develop a customer service plan to solve their problems. This is one of the most sustainable ways to gain customers and improve your long-term reputation.
We hope this article can help you consider the essential points when planning to open a retail location in the US. If you are interested in technological solutions for your retail store, don’t hesitate to contact ConnectPOS or start a 14-day free trial. It is a leading POS provider in the US with excellent omnichannel and inventory features. Start your success with us today!