Running a successful business requires a lot of effort and patience. You have to make sure that your stock is aptly organized so that your customers can get what they need when they need it. The so-called 4 P’s – product, placement, price, and promotions have to work together for the entire operation to run. They also have to be in tune with your brand’s identity.
Most retail stores rely on marketing experts to set up the 4 P’s the right way. That includes elements such as finding new customers, spreading the word about the brand, improving customer relationships, and increasing website traffic. They also have to think about future plans, promotions, and pricing. All of that is possible only if you have the right information, which helps you make better business choices.
Since a single person can’t get everything done, you have to create at least two teams – a marketing team and a merchandising team. But sometimes even that is not enough. The key is to align both teams and ensure that they work together as their goals depend on each other. Surprisingly, less than half of the retailers put in the effort to synchronize both teams.
If your retail merchandising and marketing managers don’t work closely together, they can misalign the product with the marketing strategy, which then leads to fewer sales and less income. For example, suppose the marketing lead puts too much money into advertising. In that case, the sudden surge of orders could lead to a complete sellout before everyone gets what they paid for, causing a customer relation problem and bad reviews.
But when they work closely together, your company will be able to meet all expectations and grow at a steady pace with some careful planning. That includes improvements in revenues, better conversion rates, and increased customer loyalty.
The 4 P’s start with the products in your offer. You have to keep a detailed record of available products and how many of them you have in stock. You also have to consider which products to include in your store to provide the best offer. In other words, you have to optimize your product assortment according to your customer’s needs and provide a balanced offer to ensure things run smoothly.
Start by checking what your competition is offering, and try to look for products missing from their offers. That will allow you to get a share of the market and meet the demand no one else is covering. The process is called competitive intelligence, and it can help you create a stable plan for your business’s future.
It might take you some time until you pinpoint the best product options, and when you finally optimize your offer, your merchandise team should work with your marketing experts to create the best campaigns. You can use multiple types of marketing to get the farthest reach. Meet your customer’s needs, and the word about your offer will spread like wildfire.
When you’re happy with your product assortment, you have to price them correctly. The final price has to be affordable enough for your customers to buy the product, and it has to be in tune with your overall brand. Optimizing your prices can put you ahead of your competition and help you build a strong relationship with your customers.
Again, see what your competition is doing, and try to figure out future trends before everyone else. You can also include periodical discounts and other offers to increase sales. Just like product assortment, you should look for pricing gaps and use what you find to improve your offers. By closely monitoring the competition’s prices, you will be able to find white space and provide competitive prices that will help you get a share of the market.
Both of your teams have to work together when organizing discounts and promotions as one small mistake could have a negative impact on your company’s sales. Everyone has to work together to find the right timing for starting a campaign and make sure that your stock can handle the event.
Naturally, you will make less money during a promotion, but you will be able to boost your ROI. Your customers will be happy, and they will likely return for another purchase in the future. If things are done right, they will spread the word about your brand, which will lead to improved website traffic.
Start by checking what your competitors are doing, how they present discounts, and devise your own strategy based on the information. Don’t lower the prices too much because you won’t get a better conversion rate. Take a look at how your previous promotions did, and try to improve your offer to drive more sales than you did in the past. If your teams work closely together, they will be able to coordinate their efforts and create an offer that will make you money and help you improve customer relationships.
The Bottom Line
All successful businesses rely on their management to come up with strategies to get those 4 P’s right. If they manage to put together a campaign in tune with your brand’s identity, your sales will go up, and your teams will be able to help you reach more customers.
By using various analytics tools, and by monitoring your competition, you can get useful information that can help you provide the best offer and steal a part of the market.