If the “retailpocalypse” is truly upon us, stores like Walmart and Amazon must be some of its horsemen. As these mega-corporations continue to grow, it’s become more and more popular to proclaim that the end is nigh for traditional retail. To be fair, the industry is seeing massive changes. Moneywise reports that 38 retail chains will be shuttering some or all of its stores in 2019, including traditional retail powerhouses Macy’s and Target. However, smaller retailers continue to thrive. How could this be? The answer may lie in niche retail strategies.
Smaller Retailers Have Better Customer Relationships
A concept around customer engagement, called user intent, was published in an Inc.com article. It introduced the concept that customer engagement is largely driven by user intent. Consisting of six stages from awareness all the way to loyalty expansion, user intent, or the customer journey, is a prime model for building customer relationships. When a retailer touches on all six stages, they’re also developing brand loyalty and securing repeat business.
As a smaller retailer, you will need to use all of these stages for a more customer-centric strategy. Use customer data for insights into what sells and any trends or shopping habits they may have developed while visiting your store. Not sure where to start? One of the top niche retail strategies is to rely on flexible technology that allows smaller retailers to adapt on the fly.
Use Your POS to Customize the Shopping Experience
Today’s consumers place a high emphasis on flexibility when it comes to their overall satisfaction. This means that they anticipate you will be able to accept multiple forms of payment, including EMV chip cards, Apple Wallet, and Google Pay. They also want you to be able to predict their needs while staying a step ahead of trends that interest them. This puts the pressure on smaller retailers to not only carve out space from large retailers but to also match some of the technical abilities of a Walmart or a Target.
A growing trend in niche retail strategies is to upgrade to or implement an advanced POS solution. When you start to utilize the innovative technology that many current POS solutions present, you gain opportunities to showcase your business in a technical way that will help attract customers to your store. This gives the customer-facing aspects of your store operations such as mobile payment options and product lookup a crisp look and feel that ultimately fuels the expansion of the bottom line.
Another reason customers trend towards smaller retailers over “jack of all trades” big box stores is because of the desire for higher quality, handcrafted items, and the personalized service that larger chains can’t provide. The right POS system can save customer data and even handle a loyalty program that rewards repeat business. Plus, you’re automatically collecting historical data to spot trends within your own shop.
Sure, Amazon can show you items based on what you’ve previously purchased. However, Amazon can’t get to know you or make specialized recommendations based on anything but an algorithm. This is one area where small retailers have a competitive advantage: the human component. But these aren’t the only niche retail strategies that can help you succeed.
An Omni-Channel Model Leads to Continued Growth
Big box retailers have all moved many of their in-store offerings into the online world by creating a shopping experience that revolves around omni-channel. Omni-channel is quickly becoming the de-facto standard and small retail is no exception. These cloud-based solutions give you almost limitless connection options to current and prospective customers while reducing your time investment and lowering demands on staff.
When you’re operating on multiple channels, you’re simply creating more opportunities to connect with your customers. Whether this is through an e-commerce site, a social media page, or even a mobile application, as long as you have these additional touchpoints that maintain your personalized touch, you’re on the right path. Again, this is an area where the human touch counts. Instead of interacting with a social media page run by a nameless intern, your customers have a direct path to you.
If you’re interested in the omni-channel approach, it’s a good idea to make sure that your point of sale system can interface with the majority of your preferred channels. The added connectivity provides valuable data and streamlines the omni-channel process, saving you time and energy.
Take Advantage of Niche Retail Strategies
The future of retail is upon us whether we like it or not. Amazon is testing out drone-based delivery. Many big-box retailers are investing in greater automation to reduce staffing costs. While several large companies are shuttering stores and struggling to survive, if you’re using a few key niche retail strategies, your small business can thrive.
When you partner with talech for your retail project needs, we devote our time to identify your business challenges and work with you to apply a solution that provides you with a POS solution that can scale alongside next-gen retail trends. Our goal is to leave you feeling confident that our feature-rich platform makes you a trendsetter. Reach out to us today to sign up for a demo and to learn more about how talech can be your valued POS partner.