According to recent news reports, we are likely headed for a recession…or at least some form of one. In preparation, retailers are rolling out their recession playbooks. Target is bulking up on grocery and household essentials to drive foot traffic. Macy’s and Walmart are focusing on their most loyal customers and Best Buy and others are going for exclusives that ensure full price. All good, but you’re a small retail business…what does YOUR playbook look like?
Hang in there. There’s no reason to revisit pandemic-inspired panic! We got our clients through that challenge with flying colors, and we learned some essential moves to ride out whatever storm shows upon your economic doorstep.
Outsell the Recession with These Three Steps
1. Inventory your existing assets
You may think we’re talking about inventory, but it’s more than that. This is about taking stock of what you already have so that you do more with it!
Your People—How good are they? Can you train and incent them to make them great? What tools and information do they wish they had to get them there quicker? Can your current system provide it?
Inventory—How is it selling? When, and at what cycles? Are there category adjacencies you could be leveraging to get customers to add to every basket? Out with the old: If it hasn’t moved in 3-6 months, it’s not going to start during a recession. Take stock, detach unemotionally, and discount and move quickly. Free up your cash and real estate in the store and replace it with what you can make money on.
Data—Do you know what’s really happening behind the cash register receipts? The Data will drive you. What is moving the best, at the highest profits, with the least amount of time on shelf? Where in the store is the most activity? Does this correspond with your highest sellers? Regarding your non-movers, is it old inventory or is it in the wrong spot?
Multiple points of data collection (POS, video, traffic counters, heat mapping) can tell you a story to drive revenue quickly and efficiently. Can your systems talk to each other and paint this picture? Its 2023, so they should be able to.
Location—When is your peak traffic time? Could you do more to attract more people in more often? How? During what time frames? The answer can drive your Labor vs. Conversion strategy and it’s critical–putting more people on the floor at the right times with the right training = more sales.
2. Know Your Facts & Stats
Once you’ve done an honest once over of what you have on hand, dig in on what you can leverage the most without any more out of pocket.
- What is your foot traffic? What time of day? What day of the week? How many a month?
- Of those, how often do they convert? How many times do they visit?
- What do they buy?
- What is their ATV (average ticket value)?
- What deposits or inventories do they buy from?
3. Be a Force Multiplier
You can leverage the data you have on hand to get more from what you’ve got, and this creates revenue. Otherwise, you’re going to have unrealized profits sitting dormant–every single day.
Don’t let your retail investment die on the vine!
Knowledge is power. And with the right plan, the right platform and the right reports, you’ll have what you need to leverage the heck out of every asset within your walls–both the physical and the virtual ones.
With all these technologies talking together, they can drive a revenue result that is exponential. However, like many other tools, if they continue to be unused or un-recognized, they lie dormant and are simply considered an expense.
We liken it to the decision every January many of us make to get in shape. Maybe you join a gym, pick a diet or a nutrition program, even go as far as to hire a trainer. It’s a focused goal you’ve set–a focused plan you’ve put together, and a significant investment you’ve decided to make in your health. But guess what? Even with all those programs, expenses, and expert guidance, if YOU don’t work your plan and get off the couch, nothing changes!
This same thinking applies to your tech stack, the data that lies dormant and unrealized for your review, and the expert guidance from partners willing to help guide you. If nothing changes, nothing changes. And if you’re going to outsell the recession, you had better get off the couch and get serious about your retail health.
Look, this is not rocket science…
But when things get tight, this is how you do it. You can change retail systems–even in a cost-conscious economic scenario–in an affordable setup to get the ammo you need to take action. The best part? You’ll see an immediate outcome.
In the end, it’s all about your customer. Finding them, attracting them, knowing them, upselling them and keeping them. You HAVE to have the retail systems and data necessary to do this–otherwise, you’re just throwing spaghetti against the wall.