New competition and changes in the economy are causing Australia’s retail sector to revamp pricing structures. While online shopping was already cutting into profit margins, adding to that, large rivals such as JD Sports settling in. However, brick and mortar retailers are not going down without a fight.
While the retail environment is competitive, businesses are adapting in a few ways. These include lowering prices, implementing loyalty programs, increasing product selections, and getting involved online to further enhance the customer experience. They are also investing more resources into training staff so customers will reap the benefits of improved customer service as well as having access to employees who are exceptionally knowledgeable in the products sold.
People want customer service as well as getting the most bang for their buck. As retail shops develop new strategies to keep and attract customers, they will effectively come out on top. Through joining online platforms, retailers can reach a larger audience and keep their doors open. Additionally, by creating new pricing structures and rewarding customers for their loyalty, it will increase the likelihood of customers coming back.
Online has its advantages, but with Australia charging consumers 10% tax on goods purchased from overseas, it gives retailers leverage. In addition to that, the online experience does not replace the aspect of the friendly face to face conversations and customer care, or the ability to actually touch, feel, try out and try on products.
Naturally, everyone wants to get the best deal, and prices are being reduced, but along with that, they want quality and value, something that big competitors are not always good at. The solution? Figure out a pricing strategy that works for your company and allow consumers to feel that are apart of a community making a difference to the world.
#1 People Don’t Just Want What’s “Cheap”
If money were no object, people would gravitate towards the retailers who offer the highest quality products with the absolute best service provided. Generally, most people do find themselves shopping with a budget. In that case, they have to find a retailer that balances affordability with quality.
In order to succeed as a retailer today, you can take one of two approaches. Either try to compete on price and cut out the costs of offering quality service so you can be as cheap as possible in hopes of appealing to people with a tight budget. Or, you can strive to offer value.
Real value means that you are pricing something fairly given its quality and the reliability of your company. For instance, people are willing to pay a bit more if they know you are going to come through when something goes wrong. They are also willing to shop at a store that charges a little more in return for faster shipping.
Ultimately, you have to figure out a happy medium. What price points can you offer that allows you to make a profit, while still affording everyone an acceptable level of quality, reliability and a great all round experience?
#2 Add Value by Going Above and Beyond
This requires some strong management and corporate values on the back-end in order to really get noticed by consumers. But, if you put in the time investment to make sure that your “value added” services are going above and beyond, it will slowly build up a trusted reputation for your brand.
For instance, if you are already paying someone to handle customer service, you should be doing everything in your power to ensure they are achieving that customer service in the best way possible. This means teaching them about the image you want them to represent on behalf of your brand.
Having representatives that are truly patient, polite, and friendly goes a long way, whether you offer customer service through email, live chat, or on the phone.
Timely and helpful customer service will always convince a customer to make you a lifelong choice. It shows them that they are valued, it builds trust, and most importantly, it is something they are willing to pay a little more to receive.
#3 Offer Rewards to Loyal Customers
You should not try to be undercutting prices to keep people around. Rather, taking the approach of a loyalty program can definitely prove to be successful.
A loyalty program is not all about giving discounts to your long-term customers, although that can factor in. Instead, your loyalty program should reward customers who have been around for a long time, while also encouraging other customers to become more loyal shoppers.
A loyalty program can do this in a few ways. Firstly, loyalty program members might earn points or reward dollars on every purchase. For instance, you might give them 2% back on all the purchases they make in the form of store credit. Whereby, if they spend $100, you add $2 to their balance which they can apply towards future purchases. This encourages them to come back so that they can spend that reward money.
Another way to encourage even more shopping is to offer bonus rewards. For instance, every time a shopper earns $10 in rewards, you might give them a bonus $10 certificate. That gives them $20 total to inspire them to make another purchase at your shop. In turn, they will earn rewards on that purchase too!
Loyalty programs are extremely effective at motivating customers to make a purchase and prompting them to come back and make additional purchases. Other forms of loyalty programs can also make for a major boost in sales. For instance, programs that center around free gifts, shipping perks, and so on can create wonders for getting you more customers.
#4 Make Your Offerings Unique and Never Worry About Competitors
This is a huge tip that is definitely worth applying. By making your store’s offerings unique, you can always expect customers to come back for things they will not find anywhere else.
For instance, if you are an online retail store, you could offer a free 7-day try-on period where people can order an item and keep it for up to a week. At the end of the 7 days, they can either return it free-of-charge or pay for it and keep it.
Many shops are introducing such programs to make up for the lack of touch in the world of eCommerce. Your store could stand out with any number of unique offerings, it just requires some brainstorming.
These unique offerings will not just add value, they will also set you apart from competitors and help your brand stand out.
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