5 Retail Strategies YoUShould Try In 2018 - Deputy (2023)

Retail strategies

Your strategic decisions have a direct effect on the position your retail store occupies in the marketplace. You’ll need to continuously answer the question, “What are you trying to achieve in the retail space?” Your retail strategies need to be centered on another important question, which is, “Why should customers choose your store?” The answer to this question constantly evolves as customers’ needs continue to change. Your old approach to developing retail strategies may not necessarily work due to adjustments in consumer behavior.

To ensure that your store doesn’t get left behind, you should implement new retail strategies in 2018, such as:

  • Make your in-store experience memorable

  • Focus on service

  • Include sustainability in your values

  • Rethink the hard sell

  • Rely on data to make decisions

Before we jump to the retail strategies you should try in 2018, make sure to cover the basics. The basics of a solid retail strategy should include how you will:

  • Source and provide quality and in-demand merchandise to a targeted group of consumers.

  • Price your products according to the market.

  • Provide the best customer service.

All your retail business operations – from human resources to merchandising –should focus on giving your customers the highest level of service. Even decisions, like scheduling your staff, will come down to the type of service you want your retail store to be known for.

5 retail strategies you should try in 2018

Even with a focus on inventory, pricing and customer service, physical retail is experiencing various challenges. The difficulty facing retail stores is mainly attributed to the rise in e-commerce. The widespread closure of malls in America is regarded as a key change in how consumers buy their products. The positive news is that some brick and mortar stores continue to thrive despite the obstacles they face. Most people continue to go to physical stores and, more importantly, they also spend money in-store.

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If you want your store to be amongst those that are experiencing success in 2018, try the following retail strategies:

1. Make your in-store experience memorable

According to a survey conducted by the consultancy firm, PwC, consumers are passing up on just buying more stuff in favor of spending money on experiences, like going to dinner or attending a concert. In fact, the same study found that 52% of millennials and 39% of older consumers advised that they would be spending more on experience-related purchases.

What does an experience-oriented customer mean for your retail strategy in 2018? The answer is that you need to provide both products and experiences in your store. Your customers need to experience the ‘wow’ factor that makes them feel like they’re part of something special. An example of a retailer who has an innovative approach to customer experience is Lush. The cosmetics retailer has over 1,000 stores worldwide and provides a unique customer experience in the following ways:

  • Pioneering payment system – Lush has replaced the stationary cash register system in its London flagship store with mobile payment options. Employees use mobile devices to enable customers to pay anywhere in the store. This reduces customer frustration as they no longer have to wait in long lines. Mobile payment options also mean that product abandonment is less likely since shoppers can pay for their items quickly when they’re in a hurry.

  • Building customer rapport – Lush employees are trained to identify different types of customer behavior patterns and to respond accordingly. They’re also encouraged to build a rapport with customers by talking about non-product related subjects. This approach not only makes the customers feel at ease but also provides a great atmosphere for suggestive selling.

  • Designing a distinctive and interactive store – Customers are actively encouraged to interact with the products by smelling and touching them. Customers are also given the chance to take part in product demonstrations at every opportunity. The visual merchandising using bold colors are reminiscent of a candy store.

5 Retail Strategies YoUShould Try In 2018 - Deputy (1)

2. Focus on service

Despite the numerous advances in technology, the need for great service will never go out of fashion. Customers are increasingly looking for ways for more convenience and a focus on service is an ideal way to cater to those needs. Your store should implement a service-driven approach as one of its strategies for 2018. A retailer who has taken the service-driven approach to the ultimate limit is Nordstrom.

In November 2017, Nordstrom opened a prototype in Los Angeles called Nordstrom Local. The concept was completely new because, even though Nordstrom Local is considered to be a retailer, it carried no inventory. The store is focused solely on service provision including:

  • Click-and-collect.

  • Alteration and tailoring.

  • Personal styling.

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Nordstrom Local is all about providing personalized services to the customer. The style bar has employees on hand to give customers assistance with choosing outfits and gifts for special occasions.

5 Retail Strategies YoUShould Try In 2018 - Deputy (2)

Retailers can learn some lessons from the Nordstrom Local model. The lesson is that services are increasingly becoming a differentiating factor that can set you apart from your competition. Most stores already offer a click-and-collect service but could go further to offer services like alterations. To determine the best services to provide to your customers, think about what would make their shopping experience more convenient and what would complement your existing products.

3. Include sustainability in your values

Sustainability and corporate social responsibility is becoming increasingly important to customers and therefore should be part of your retail strategy for 2018. Consideration should be given to how retailers source products in relation to ethical and environmental issues. Customers expect businesses, in general, to be transparent about the role they play in relation to sustainability. The fact that retailers, like Gucci and Michael Kors, have banned the use of fur demonstrates that retailers can no longer ignore the shift in customer perceptions.

IKEA is an example of a retailer that has developed a strategy to help provide a more sustainable future. The aim is to challenge the traditional ways of doing business and embrace new technology “to fulfill future customer needs, promote equality and secure sustainable access to resources while driving down emissions and maintaining low prices.” IKEA already incorporates sustainability issues into its operations by:

IKEA plans to continue the sustainability drive with the following initiatives:

  • Phasing-out dangerous substances.

  • Promoting products that help consumers generate energy.

  • Reducing waste and using less water.

5 Retail Strategies YoUShould Try In 2018 - Deputy (3)


Including sustainability for your retail strategy isn’t just reserved for big retailers. Smaller retail stores can also play their part in making a difference that customers will appreciate by:

  • Reusing or recycling relevant materials.

  • Reducing or banning the use of plastic bags.

  • Using low-energy lighting where applicable.

  • Trying to procure items that are ethically-sourced.

If you’ve implemented a sustainability initiative, make sure you inform your customers, staff, and partners. Your commitment to sustainability should be communicated so that your customers will be aware that your business has a social conscience.

4. Rethink the hard sell

Consumers are now savvier than ever. Even before they reach your store, they would have probably researched the item they want to purchase. Where the research isn’t done in advance, it’s not unusual to see shoppers searching online to find out more about the product they’re looking for in-store. Research points include prices and reviews. Against the backdrop of a more knowledgeable consumer, applying hard-sell techniques are becoming redundant.

Soft selling centers more on the experience in-store. An example of a store that facilitates the soft sell approach is Apple. The sales associates in Apple stores are around to give you assistance only if you need it and you can attend screenings about their latest products. Customers are encouraged to play around with Apple products to see whether they’re suitable.

The lower pressure sales environment also encourages a social aspect. These stores realize that young people in particular mostly shop in groups, so the environment is conducive to encouraging a communal feel.

The point of a soft sell approach is to build relationships with your customer to increase brand loyalty. A soft sell technique that you can include in your 2018 retail strategy is suggestive selling. Retailers use this sales technique to persuade customers to buy an additional and cheaper item to supplement the main item they are considering purchasing.

5. Rely on data to make decisions

Making decisions based on reliable data is no longer a ‘nice to have.’ Utilizing big data to boost your retail sales should be a key strategy in 2018. In fact, 65% of businesses advised that they base more decisions on hard analytic data. The effectiveness of your decisions will be based on the quality of your data and how you analyze the information.

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Big data can provide up-to-the-minute insight into your competitor’s pricing and special offers. This information will help you to adjust your prices and provide matching promotions. Although big data is predominantly used for online businesses, it also has a place to increase the sales in physical retail stores. Big data provides information about trends and patterns in your business. These statistics can inform vital business functions, like budgeting and retailemployee scheduling. Including big data in your retail strategy will also have consequences for inventory and merchandising decisions. According to Gartner, one-third (33%) of merchandising staff will no longer be required because decisions will be made by algorithms.

Small retailers may believe that utilizing big data is reserved for larger retailers. However, due to the competitive nature of retail, smaller retailers should give serious thought to any strategy that gives them the edge. Here are some additional benefits of using big data:

  • Better customer insight – Big data provides information about your customers’ behavior, so you’ll no longer need to guess what they want. You’ll have access to information about who’s buying from your store. This knowledge will help you to better target your audience when marketing.

  • Successful retail marketingstrategies – You can use the details from your big data to create marketing materials that speak directly to your customers. Delivering the right message at the right time will help you to build a better connection with your customers.

  • Improved social interaction – You can use big data to monitor the interaction with customers and your store via social media. Share positive experiences about your store and also take the opportunity to address any negative comments.

The five retail strategies above should help to grow your business and build your brand. As in previous years, your retail strategy should center on the customer to ensure that you’re catering to their needs in the most effective way. The above retail strategies could also help to make 2018 your most successful year yet.

Are there any other retail marketing strategies that you think will be trending in 2018? Let us know in the comments below.

Important Notice

The information contained in this article is general in nature and you should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs. Legal and other matters referred to in this article are of a general nature only and are based on Deputy's interpretation of laws existing at the time and should not be relied on in place of professional advice. Deputy is not responsible for the content of any site owned by a third party that may be linked to this article and no warranty is made by us concerning the suitability, accuracy or timeliness of the content of any site that may be linked to this article. Deputy disclaims all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded) for any error, inaccuracy, or omission from the information contained in this article and any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.

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About the author Deputy’s content team works closely with business owners, managers, and their employees to create helpful articles about how to make their worklife easier.

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What is retail strategy answer? ›

A retail strategy is the process you use to develop your products or services and sell them to customers. There are multiple elements to this plan, including location, store, merchandise/assortment, visual merchandising, staff, service, mass media and communications, and price.

Why is retail strategy important explain your answer? ›

It is important for a retail store to form a strategy to promote its goods and services and reach the right set of customers — the primary objective of the retail strategies to increase sales as well as customer satisfaction equally.

What are the 7 strategies for store planning? ›

Retail Planning: 7 Steps to Ensure the Success of Your Retail...
  • What is retail planning?
  • Analyze your market.
  • Analyze your customers' behavior.
  • Set your objectives.
  • Outline and implement your strategy.
  • Analyze your performance.
  • Final thoughts.
30 Nov 2021

What are the six steps in a retail strategy? ›

Steps of Retail Strategy Planning
  1. Objective Setting.
  2. Situational Analysis.
  3. Customer Analysis.
  4. Tactical Planning.
  5. Implementation and Control.

What is expected retail strategy? ›

An expected retail strategy represents the minimum value chain elements a given customer segment expects from a given retailer type. An augmented retail strategy includes the extra elements that differentiate retailers.

What are five marketing strategies that retailers use? ›

Five retail marketing strategies that major retailers are using.
  • Take your brand to your customers. ...
  • Replicate your in-store experience online. ...
  • Increase your ratings and reviews. ...
  • Create a Facebook Page. ...
  • Run a vibrant email marketing campaign.
27 Aug 2020

How can I improve my retail sales skills? ›

16 retail sales tips
  1. Make a great first impression. ...
  2. Think before you speak. ...
  3. Don't forget about body language. ...
  4. Remember that less is more. ...
  5. Make active listening a habit. ...
  6. Use storytelling to sell. ...
  7. Do product demos and allow for testing. ...
  8. Educate customers.
14 Oct 2021

How can I make my retail successful? ›

The 7 Good Habits of Highly Successful Retailers
  1. They Know Their “Why” ...
  2. They Care About Customers (and Show It) ...
  3. They Create Systems and Processes. ...
  4. They Stand by Their Products. ...
  5. They Hire Selectively. ...
  6. They Adapt to New Ways of Increasing Sales. ...
  7. They Rethink Good Habits.
25 Jan 2017

What is the most important in retail management? ›

The customer is the most important person in your business

The main retail principle to master is: the customer is king. They should be at the centre of your business, and everything you do must revolve around customer needs.

How important is strategic retail planning? ›

Along with this, strategic retail planning offers you financial benefits, where you strategize, study your market and consumers, and ensure that you invest your resources efficiently. It provides you an edge over your competitors.

What is the primary objective of the retail strategy? ›

The overall objective of retail marketing is creating and developing services and products that meet the specific needs of customers and offering these products at competitive, reasonable prices that will still yield profits.

What are the 5 steps in the strategic management process? ›

The five stages of the process are goal-setting, analysis, strategy formation, strategy implementation and strategy monitoring.

What are the 4 basic steps of retail process? ›

The purpose of money is to be exchanged for goods or services therefore based on the above definition, Sales run this world. There are four Steps in the sales process: 1) Greet, 2) Qualify, 3) Present, 4) Close.

What are the 6 major components of strategic planning? ›

Read ahead to learn more about the six vital elements of strategic planning: vision, mission, objectives, strategy, approach, and tactics.

What is the most important step in strategic planning? ›

The first and perhaps most important step of the planning process is understanding that there's a need for a plan. In terms of management, this means that you need to be aware of the industry environment in which the business operates so that you can identify opportunities for development.

How do I write a business strategy plan? ›

How to write a business strategy?
  1. Consider your organization's mission and vision statements.
  2. Identify your company's core values.
  3. Conduct a SWOT analysis.
  4. Outline tactics to achieve goals.
  5. Create a plan for allocating resources to achieve the desired outcome.
  6. Evaluate results for effectiveness.
1 Jul 2020

What is the last step in developing retail strategy? ›

The term retail mix refers to a combination of things like the merchandise you're going to sell, the advertisements you're going to design to help sell them, who is your target audience, what the price is going to fix, and so on. The final step is to evaluate your performance.

What are the 3 aspects of a value oriented retail strategy? ›

There are three aspects of a value-oriented retail strategy: expected, augmented, and potential. An expected retail strategy represents the minimum value chain elements a given customer segment (e.g., young women) expects from a type of retailer (e.g., a mid-priced apparel retailer).

What are the elements of retail strategy? ›

Retail marketing pertains to the strategies and tactics that retailers use to attract customers and drive sales. Retail marketing has 4 key components, also knows as the “4 Ps”: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion.

What is Retail Marketing example? ›

These include traditional choices like catalogs, posters, referrals, and even direct mail. Plus more modern methods such as websites, social media profiles, and email and SMS campaigns. Direct mail: Making sure customers know what you offer is a major hurdle for retail marketers.

How do retailers get new customers? ›

How to Increase Walk-ins in Your Retail Store: 10 Ideas to Drive...
  1. Keep up with the seasons — and pop culture. ...
  2. Use eye-grabbing signage. ...
  3. Invite influencers or experts. ...
  4. Market to existing customers. ...
  5. Go beyond selling products. ...
  6. Make it a social experience. ...
  7. Encourage social shares and location tagging.
4 Oct 2022

What are 4 general ways to increase sales? ›

Increase the number of customers. Increase the average transaction size. Increase the frequency of transactions per customer. Raise your prices.

What are the 3 most important things in sales? ›

Being successful in sales and learning how to become better at sales boils down to 3 things: empathy, a genuine desire to help, and persistence.

How can I increase my sales quickly? ›

  1. Be Present With Clients And Prospects. ...
  2. Look At Product-To-Market Fit. ...
  3. Have A Unique Value Proposition. ...
  4. Have Consistent Marketing Strategies. ...
  5. Increase Cart Value And Purchase Frequency. ...
  6. Focus On Existing Customers. ...
  7. Focus On Why Customers Buy. ...
  8. Upsell An Additional Service.
30 Mar 2021

What makes a strong retail brand? ›

The retail industry thrives on three vital things: high-quality products, excellent customer experience, and a unique shopping experience. To be successful, you need to do those things well and unify them with strong branding and visual design.

What are the 4 principles of retail marketing? ›

The 4 Key Principles of Successful Retail Marketing
  • What is retail marketing?
  • Principle One: Product.
  • Principle Two: Price.
  • Principle Three: Place.
  • Principle Four: Promotion.

What is the strategies of store management? ›

Successful store management requires a range of different skills, and you'll often need to wear several hats. Retail management involves sales, scheduling, inventory control, reporting, team management, conflict resolution, hiring, performance management, staff training and much more.

How can I be a good retail manager? ›

17 tips on retail management
  1. Set clear daily goals. ...
  2. Hire a high-quality team. ...
  3. Train staff well. ...
  4. Use effective time management. ...
  5. Be decisive. ...
  6. Listen to employees. ...
  7. Offer clear communication. ...
  8. Use technology effectively.
1 Mar 2021

What are the 5 benefits of strategic planning? ›

5 Benefits of Strategic Planning
  • Creates a sense of direction. ...
  • Increase operational efficiency. ...
  • Increase market share and profitability. ...
  • Increase durability and sustainability. ...
  • Being proactive instead of reactive.
3 Mar 2018

Why are strategies needed? ›

First and foremost, you need a strategy because it sets the direction and establishes priorities for your organization. It defines your organization's view of success and prioritizes the activities that will make this view your reality.

What are the strategic retail planning process? ›

Strategic retail planning is the process of creating a long-term plan for a retail business. The plan includes setting goals, analyzing the competition, and developing a marketing strategy. It also involves creating a budget and forecasting sales.

How do I write a retail management plan? ›

7 Steps of Retail Planning
  1. Set Goals. Businesses need to set specific short and long-term goals. ...
  2. Analyze the Market. ...
  3. Analyze Customer Behavior. ...
  4. Outline Retail Strategies. ...
  5. Make Short-Term Plans. ...
  6. Implement Strategies. ...
  7. Analyze the Strategy Performance.

What is an example of strategic plan? ›

One of the most commonly available examples of strategic planning, a corporate strategy is designed to increase revenue and brand reputation. From new products and quality enhancements to aggressive marketing and sales techniques, there are many ways to tap into growth opportunities.

How can you improve strategy? ›

How to Improve Your Strategic Thinking Skills
  1. Ask Strategic Questions. If you want to improve your strategic thinking skills, one of the simplest things you can do is ask more strategic questions. ...
  2. Observe and Reflect. ...
  3. Consider Opposing Ideas. ...
  4. Embrace Formal Training.
10 Sept 2020

What makes a strategic plan successful? ›

Effective strategic planning is a process that should be broken down into three separate, equally important components: strategic thinking, long-range planning, and operational planning. This first component addresses the big picture questions of an organization, including: Who are we? Why are we in business?

What are the 4 management strategies? ›

The four phases of strategic management are formulation, implementation, evaluation and modification.

What are the five 5 internal processes involved in retail management? ›

  • Market Research. You have decided to venture into the retail industry. ...
  • Logistics. This step includes detailed organization of how products will move from the supplier to your stores in the event that you are the one collecting them. ...
  • Expenses. ...
  • Profit margins. ...
  • Staffing. ...
  • Inventory Management.
15 Dec 2020

Why is it important to have a good retailer characteristic? ›

A retailer ensures availability of a wide variety of choices of products for the customers by keeping different varieties at various prices and also different brands as well. A retailer can provide credit facilities and heavy cash discounts on the purchase of different products to the customers.

What retailing means? ›

retailing, the selling of merchandise and certain services to consumers. It ordinarily involves the selling of individual units or small lots to large numbers of customers by a business set up for that specific purpose.

How do you develop a retail strategy? ›

How to develop an effective retail marketing strategy
  1. Step 1: Offer an Incentive. Many consumers are driven to make a purchase when they feel they're getting a deal. ...
  2. Step 2: Incorporate Mobile in the In-Store Experience. ...
  3. Step 3: Use Data to Personalize Interactions. ...
  4. Step 4: Inspire User-Generated Content.
10 Jul 2019

What are the 7 types of retailers? ›

8 Types of Retail Stores
  • Grocery/Supermarket. Grocery stores and supermarkets provide a general range of food products. ...
  • Convenience Store. ...
  • Big Box/Superstore. ...
  • Specialty Store. ...
  • Department Store. ...
  • Discount Store. ...
  • Off-Price Retailer. ...
  • Warehouse.
2 Feb 2022

What are the 3 types of retailing? ›

There are three types of retailers: brick-and-mortar, online, and mobile. Brick-and-mortar retailers are physical stores that sell products. Online retailers are websites that sell products. Mobile retailers are apps that sell products.

What are five marketing strategies that retailers use? ›

Five retail marketing strategies that major retailers are using.
  • Take your brand to your customers. ...
  • Replicate your in-store experience online. ...
  • Increase your ratings and reviews. ...
  • Create a Facebook Page. ...
  • Run a vibrant email marketing campaign.
27 Aug 2020

How do you attract retail customers? ›

How do you attract customers to your store?
  1. Offer doorbusters for new in-store customers.
  2. Send out promotion codes.
  3. Host events at your store location.
  4. Offer online shopping with in-store pickup.
  5. Create an eye-catching window display.
3 Aug 2021


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