Whether you’re an online or traditional retailer or even in the supply chain or licensing business, competition is something you always want to keep an eye out for. Many retailers have tried to fend off competition with price wars, which means lowering their prices to stay more competitive in their industry. This is not always the right approach—customers seek value and do not want the most inexpensive product out there, especially if it looks low-quality.
In today’s economy, many retailers are seeing that higher quality with higher prices can be the best solution.
Customer Service & Quality
A few years ago, everyone was looking to find a deal. With daily deal sites, discounted products and frequent sales, retailers tried to keep their business steady by lowering prices. Now that there has been a shift in the mindset of consumers, many consumers are looking for value over a quick deal. After being burned by not getting the customer service and quality from discounted merchandise, customers have shifted back to loyalty, customer service and quality.
Instead of frequent, deep discounts, train employees to give top customer service to customers to keep them coming back. Without being pushy, helpful employees can make or break a retail experience for a consumer.
Forecasting for Success
Keeping quality and value in mind, each month retailers should plan out their sales goals. Usually done at the beginning of the year to meet yearly goals and projected from past year’s numbers, forecasting is a great tool to use when planning for a successful year. With advanced technology, monthly sales forecasting is not just a guessing game or something based-off of prior years. Using today’s trends, advanced forecasting programs can help managers make decisions about pricing adjustments based on competitions and sales trends.
Another way to keep up with the pricing game is to read consumer and retailer facing articles on pricing. These articles will give you insight into what current consumer trends are and bring you the latest information you need to plan out each month.
Many large retailers are using this strategy to help consumers from going on a never ending hunt for the best pricing. When it comes to price matching, recent trends have shown that retailers who want to be competitive price-wise in the market should not deeply discount products, but instead keep products under the competition’s pricing.
Also, discounting product and running sales all the time decreases your chance of consumers buying products at full price. People will wait to buy if they know a sale is coming up or if you run frequent promotions and discounts instead of buying an item right on the spot. This takes you out of the impulse buy category and also you miss out on sales that are profitable.
Another strategy to consider instead of discounting prices is to start a loyalty program for your business. Once limited to grocery stores, loyalty programs have seemed to pop up everywhere and give customers added value to their shopping experience by providing them with merchandise and services when they reach spending milestones. With the correct strategy and rewards given to customers, a card or program keeps a customer coming back and wanting to spend.