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The retail industry is constantly evolving, and there’s been a huge shift in consumer buying habits, retail businesses are becoming reliant on automation and multichannel strategies to survive.

This makes it more crucial than ever before, to ensure you have the correct technology in place. The right underpinning technology can accelerate your business growth and enable you reach new customers across the globe.

We know that with today’s consumer demands and the ever changing landscape of the retail industry, managing a business can be overwhelming. That’s why we ran our ‘Streamline your business and accelerate your growth’ webinar, to arm you with the tips you need to grow your retail business.

We asked over 200 of our most successful customers to share their top tips for accelerating and maintaining the growth of a retail business. We were inundated with replies from our customers, but we managed to whittle them down to 9 top tips for retail success.

During the webinar our Product Marketing Manager, Scott Hill and our Chief Revenue Officer, Matt Bruun shared these secrets and discussed in detail how they can help support your retail business. The webinar includes information on how a retail management system, like Brightpearl, can underpin your business. You can watch the webinar in full here.

Here’s some of the key takeaways from our webinar:

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Here's a breakdown of what else was discussed...

Find the bottlenecks in your business before they find you
Invest some of your time observing the detail of how your business and your staff work, it’s important to really understand the processes and practices on which your business runs. Document everything, the good, the band and the ugly.
Make the good things repeatable, fix the bad, and ensure you critically look at both - there’s always room for improvement. Always be on the look for ways to improve, don’t wait for your busy seasons, such as the holiday season, to expose the truth about what isn’t working.

Put the customer at the centre of your business.
Consumers use independent merchants over larger companies, such as Amazon, because of their service and their personality. The are looking for a personable shopping experience. Your customer reputation is your bread and butter, a good reputation puts money in the till. A bad customer experience can hurt immediately and can take months to recover from, especially in a world where consumers are only ever a few clicks away from a competitor.

Understand and target your hero customers
Who are your best customers? Know them. Describe them. Build a profile of them. What do they like? Why do they buy? How do they behave? It’s no longer enough to treat your customers as another number, paint a picture of who the customer actually is. Once you have done this you can ensure your products, services and marketing are geared to specifically meet the needs of your ideal customers.

Optimise your supply chain
It’s important to be very clear on the lead times of each our products and have a positive relationships with the suppliers who provide them. Maintaining good relationships will improve your product supply. It’s also important to know at a product level exactly what you have on order, what you have coming and what you need to reorder. This will ensure you always have enough time to meet your customer needs and that you don’t end up with gaps in supply on product lines.

Make technology decisions for the long term
It’s important to build the right technology infrastructure and processes early, this will help you move quicker as you grow.  If you leave getting this in place until you desperately need it, you run the risk of seriously impairing your growth potential, as getting everything in place will cost more and be severely disruptive. When selecting your technology it’s important to choose a platform which can grow as you grow, flexibility is important. You need to be able to add functionality and users without extra costs and the requirement for dedicated IT support.

Benefit from multiple sales channels
Having your own unique store can be great. But with so many businesses competing for attention, it can be hard to get noticed. That’s why multichannel retail can be so crucial to your business growth, it gets you in front of a wider customer base and increases your reach.

Pay close attention to the details
Track and review everything you can to help make the right choices for your business. It’s also important to have one eye on your competitors and another on your business - know everything about what works and what doesn’t. Keep your eye on trends in your data and in the market and act accordingly.

Focus your time on the things that matter to you
We know that a lot of our customers started their business because of a particular skill, whether it be design, creating, or meeting customers. It’s important to ensure your focus remains in that area. Outsource everything which can distract you from this, your time is precious! Don’t waste it on things that a platform or specialist can do faster and better

Design. Run. Automate
Design your workflows, run with them, road test them, see where they break, where the customer interactions happens. This can then feed your growth process, automate processes which are safe to be automated. Remember not to overarch.  

 

There you have it. By now, we hope you can see just how important technology and automation is for growing your business in 2017.

If you have any other tips you’d like to share please leave them in the comments section below.

 

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About the Author

Beth is our Events Coordinator at Brightpearl where you’ll find her planning and running customer meetups, trade show events, webinars and anything in-between.