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3 Operations Tips to Be Competitive in the New Year

The calendar has flipped to 2019, and with the new year comes a new state of mind for many retailers. There is no question that the way consumers shop has changed significantly over the last decade, with the exponential growth of social media and online shopping and the shifts traditional retail outlets have made to keep pace.

Consider these three ideas to give your operation a fresh face and position it as a strong competitor.

 1. Get serious about buy online, pickup in store.

Business publication FastCompany recently outlined its retail predictions for this year. The author says brick-and-mortar retail stores aren’t going away—the store offers a way for consumers to better identify with your brand—but stores do need to adapt. One significant way to increase foot traffic is to offer customers the option to buy what they need online and then come to the store to pick it up. Not only does your business get the sale of the online item, but customers often purchase additional items when they come into the store.

2. Plan events that reflect your brand and your community.

Your customers—especially millennials and Gen Z—want to know what your business stands for, so show them through your in-store events this year. Create a specific theme around ladies’ nights, or pledge a certain percentage of your profits from a sale to a local charitable organization you work closely with. Showing how your business is a part of your local community will bring in customers who are equally invested.

3. Explore selling through social media.

Companies across the retail spectrum are using social media influencers to share their products and services with customers. Selling through these platforms has been slowly gaining traction, but FastCompany expects 2019 to be the tipping point. Find out how your employees engage with their favorite brands on Facebook and Instagram and consider showcasing new products in new ways through those outlets. If you establish a strong BOPIS strategy, selling through social media can help bridge the gap between online and in-store sales.

About Melanie Moul

Melanie is the communications and content manager for the North American Hardware and Paint Association. She joined the NHPA team in 2016 as an editor for Hardware Retailing and now helps lead the communications team to deliver relevant, timely content to the industry.

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