Why keep up to date?
You need to know what the rest of the market is doing for a few reasons. Retail is a highly competitive industry and this means that subtle changes can affect your sales. If one of your rivals is offering
- a new product
- a new service
- a loyalty scheme
- a price reduction
- a sale
Then this can change a lot of things for you. In retail, the knock-on effect of these changes can mean that you are overstaffed, spending too much money on advertising or even losing your offline business to your own website. Being on top of all these small changes allows you to control your business. The smart retailer keeps abreast of all the developments in the local area too. The answer to the question ' Retailers - how do you keep up to date ?' is more than simply changing prices. You need to know if there are roadworks, events in the local area or other events that might change the number of people who walk through your door.
What about the industry as a whole?
It is true that websites such as The Grocer will give you information about what is going on in the whole industry. This helps you to plan ahead. For instance, the fact that Sainsbury's is expanding its alcohol range may have an effect for off-licences close to a Sainsbury's store. snippets of information change the way that you plan ahead.
All of this adds up as you develop your business plan. You will need to know the outside influences that affect what you want to do as much as the inside influences that you have control over, such as -
- Staffing numbers and where you deploy them
- Promotions such as sales and events
- Overheads and whether you look for a new supplier
- Your online offering and whether it competes or complements what you offer offline
Retailers - how do you keep up to date ? You need to think about the way that all factors come together and influence what you are able to do.
Retailers - how do you keep up to date ?
The solution is far more important than the question. Keep on top of both industry news and local news to plan ahead. Your retail business is sensitive to so many different factors that you have to be on the ball all the time. This isn't easy, but get to grips with your information sources and plan for the future.