With your competitors identified, you can now create the metrics to gauge where you stand. While there are various marketing research tools available, examining each of these will become counterproductive due to the sheer volume out there. The smart play is to reach out to retail associations, for example NRF (National Retail Foundation) or the Retail Industry Leaders Association, to access shared resources and data that is searched or customized to align with the metrics and goals you have established. From here, you can proceed to conduct a retail competitive analysis without worrying about missing a business or crucial data point.
Effective Research With a Retail Competitive Analysis
Once you’ve decided who your top competition is, you can create a retail competitive analysis. Though it may seem like you’re back in high school with the amount of “homework” you need to do, it’s an important step towards business success. There are a few different things you can do to scope out the competition.
The best place to start is with a visit to your competitor’s storefronts. Put your eyes directly on their products. Take time to see what they do well. Find areas of improvement. Note how organized and efficient the store seems overall. If you’re unable to go yourself (or are well-known in your community) you might want to consider asking an employee to handle this step for you.
This information can help you better understand your customers and competitors as a whole. It can also help you identify any of your store’s shortcomings. Do your competitors do a better job of customer service than you? Have you set up a loyalty or rewards program? Do transactions take too long because of your clunky, outdated hardware or have you already made the switch to a cloud-based system? These are all important pieces of the customer experience puzzle.
Want to know more about consumer interests? Ask them! Through the use of short surveys, you can quickly track and manage the changing tastes of your customers. This can be as easy as a short, three-question postcard form, or as complex as sending out surveys via email. Your customers will feel more empowered as decision-makers and if you implement their responses, it will make them feel heard and boost customer loyalty.
So while it’s easy enough to size up the local competition through a retail competitive analysis, how can you be expected to compete against some of the industry giants?
How Can You Compete Against Big Box Retail?
Stepping into a retail ring that is dominated by the likes of Wal-Mart, Target, and Kohl’s can leave your head spinning. As some retailers shutter their windows in response to the growing influence of the big names, it is important to understand your options. It is very possible to utilize technology to take on big retail at its own game, and thankfully there are a few innovative POS solutions on the market that gives you the tools to allow your muscles to flex.
Your limited space can be played to your advantage. While it is impossible to keep all colors, sizes, and product variances on your shelves as a smaller retailer, you can create an endless aisle with the right software in place. Implementing a POS system that is omni-channel capable gives you the advantage of being able to make the same sale as the Wal-Mart up the street, but without their real estate or staffing costs.
As omni-channel starts working its way into the forefront of retail strategy, this allows you to become the trendsetter among your competitors. Allowing customers to interact with products onsite, and then placing an order to their specifications greatly reduces the amount of inventory you keep on hand. This reduction in overhead allows you to focus on creating a unique shopping experience while giving your offerings a 24/7/365 presence.
You gain an edge in being able to provide smaller, specialty brands via your omni-channel presence, reducing the risk of items collecting dust on your shelves, all while strengthening your brand messaging. Introducing smarter technology into your store helps to keep you ahead of the competitive curve, be it a big box store or a local rival.
Conduct a Retail Competitive Analysis for a Business Advantage
It’s important to regularly conduct a retail competitive analysis. Not only does it give you the pulse of your local industry, but it also helps you identify your own shortcomings and opportunities. Plus, by smartly using tech to your advantage, you’re able to position yourself to be the local favorite. Ready to get started? That’s where talech comes in.
When you partner with talech for your retail project needs, we devote our time to identify your competitive challenges and develop a solution that provides you with next-gen technology doing your heavy lifting. We present you with a POS solution that keeps you ahead of the game in taking advantage of 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.