Retail Stores: Coping With Recession
Nowadays, everybody can acknowledge the fact that the world is experiencing a staggering economic turbulence. Business forecasts on newspapers, radio and television bring more and more depressing news everyday. There have already been hundreds of companies, banks and financial institutions that have closed and filed bankruptcy over the past year. There are hundreds more who are struggling to stay afloat. Businesses of any scale are now under pressure to come up with intelligent ideas to solve their disheartening sales. It is these times that they remain true to the old adage that business must still go on. Retail companies find this especially true and put the pressure on the shoulders of their sales and marketing teams to come up with new strategies that will help them pull through. Many people are skeptical that retail companies will profit, let alone survive, from the current economic slump that we are currently experiencing. But with the right attitude and the ever-reliable identification of their unique selling proposition, they might just make it through this so-called recession. First thing that retailers should do during these difficult times is to maintain a positive attitude and focus on the demands of the customers by paying close attention to the fundamentals of sales and marketing. Whether you are the owner or employee of a retail business, you must stick with those fundamentals and develop a strong marketing and selling strategy, not only to your existing customers, but also to your prospects. There have been many reports in the news about negative retail sales figures over the last year or so. However, while it is important to keep up with any updates the business world or the economy in general may have, you must remember that the media, like any other corporation or business, is also trying their best to secure themselves a stable financial status. They, like you, need to attract customers, which come in the form of audience. Because of that, they sometimes sensationalize various information and tend to touch peoples emotions to gain more viewers, thus enabling them to sell advertising. Absorbing the latest news from periodicals or radio and television forecasts with an objective mind will help you stay focused and keep you away from negative emotions and distortions that may derail your business plans and resort to futile sales and marketing efforts. Because they sell more stories when they ignite fear, an emotion that people generally tend to have, the media sometimes highlights the negative reports. These negative reports are also true with unemployment. Very seldom do we hear news about new job creation or graduate vacancies. However, news about retrenchment or the like are adamant. Understanding the needs of your target market and changing or modifying your means to serve them will help you survive the economic crisis. This way, you get to provide your existing and would-be customers the products and services they really need and are willing to pay for despite being tight on their budget. In addition, because you have provided them with a satisfactory buying experience, chances are, they will be coming back to do more business with you in the future. The secret of every retailers success lies on their successful identification of their unique selling proposition (or USP). A unique selling proposition may be an slogan that advertises any product or service that has a unique identity making it different, if not better, than its competitors. A solid USP strategy entails an excellent consumer experience and motivate people to buy. There are numerous reports stating that some retail companies have actually fared impressively on sales despite the tumultuous economic times. These reports show that not only will a strong and clear USP help a retailer survive, but it can also help them prosper in such hard conditions. Without a remarkable uniqueness, retail stores will not be able to compete in a highly aggressive market. Uniqueness may come in three forms - price, product and customer service. Retail stores that carry bargain prices on their price tags such as Costco and Wal-Mart have enjoyed an increase in profits. When people think of the word "bargain" these two retailers in the United States are immediately the stores that cross peoples minds. The increase in their sales is due to the fact that shoppers tend to stock up on commodities with low prices during difficult times. The reputation of a certain retail stores product uniqueness, on the other hand, keeps loyal customers shopping for their goods. This goes to show that, because of the high quality of their products, customers are willing to spend on them despite being tight on money. Then there is experience uniqueness. There are shoppers who keep coming back to certain stores because of the superior customer service they experience. Whether the retail store sells higher quality goods in cheaper prices or not, some consumers feel that the services provided by the stores personnel that allowed them to have a smooth and pleasant business transaction is worth coming back for. Ultimately, remember that, no matter what the status of the global economy is, people love to shop and buy. Keeping an eye to peoples demands, staying positive and focused, with brilliant sales and marketing strategies will help your retail business shine despite the economic crisis. ------ For more tips and information, please visit the Top Employers website. Explore a great resource for various graduate vacancies such as graduate retail jobs and more.