E-commerce is now poised for explosive growth on the strength of rapidly evolving consumer shopping habits and game-changing retail technology. We all know about online retail and how it works, its accessibity, presence, transparency and multichannel usage has made the consumer more connected and savvy than ever before. There is price intelligence, data analysis, retail competitive intelligence and many other technologies in the market to support the retailers. The stake is more and so is the profit as the demography is changing and the one who adapts to the change would flourish. Having said that there are still some tactics those remain evergreen and should be followed no matter how obsolete they are, they still manage to leave impact.
Here are 10 tactics the major players still practice and continuing to win...
Know your numbers
Make sure you keep a count of every customer you close to every customer you encounter and from them take out the sales to visit ratio. A continuous and daily practice will give you the graph you are heading to and also a close overview of the sales.
Stop taking the easier route
You post discounts and offers for the day and that surely attracts customers but that is not going to help in the long run and also not considered as selling. For instance why did the coupon giving company changed to major ecommerce giant!! Because Snapdeal realised that no matter how much our Indian market loves offers and discounts that cannot be the only medium for business.
Be ready to take risk as far as sale is concerned
You should be ready to bring the changes in your strategy, sales flow and even the pitch and pricing method. The difference between risk takers and calculated risk takers is the difference between failure and success. “Experimentation leads to innovation. Sometimes, you’ll fail. But when one of these risks work, it’ll make up for everything”, said Snapdeal founder, Kunal.
Watch your words
People love to talk and you would not even know that a small statement that you told somebody or a small fear could be doing rounds on the internet marring your image and the company’s too. Asos chief executive once called Amazon as the dream partner and rumours was portrayed as asos being taken over by Amazon which were later officially cleared by him.
Not running your company on jaw dropping offers but off and on floating an offer that would mark the day is a great idea to follow but with obvious innovation and planning . Example Flipkart's 'Big Billion Day' sale on the 6th of October was touted as the mother of all online sales. That was Mirroring the buzz generated by the ‘Black Friday sale’ in the US
Retail Winners Use Analytics to Personalize to the Customer
Since the analysis gets you to validate, if you on the right path or a total revamp is required you could take the decision for the right strategy well in time. A regular pricing planning, forecasting and management are needed for the ship to sail through. Data helps retailers detect patterns, make new associations, and acquire a deeper understanding of customers as individuals -- thereby enabling new methods of personalized engagement, the ability to make relevant offers that reflect customer context. Better analysis means better forecasting which means lower safety stocks and/or higher levels of availability. It also means a reduced exposure to excess and obsolete stock risk.
Retail Winners Maximize Technology Use
Winners have insight into emerging business and technology trends and use it to drive improved business results. Armed with advanced technology and more scientific approaches, winners can do what they need to do: manage their inventory and their supply and demand, use competitive intelligence solutions, set the right prices, maximize their marketing to individuals, track sales on granular levels, personalize to customer, competitive price and assortment tracking, mobile and social media marketing, maximize omnichannel opportunities, and much more.
Helps you increase the revenue as the Retailers today use pricing as a lever for two primary purposes: driving the demand and maximizing the gross margin. And the lever is being pulled more frequently than ever: with companies like Amazon changing the prices on an average nine times per day, it is surely evident that you need to have a constant eye on the market trend to you have a strong hold.
Taking right decision at the right time
In 2013, Flipkart lost Rs 281 crore (US$47 million) on revenues of Rs 1,180 crore (US$197 million) while Myntra lost Rs 134 crore (US$22 million) crore on revenues of Rs 212 crore (US$35 million) Which is why, combining forces—in other words, sharing a logistics and technology backbone, as well as customers—will stem that tide to some extent, could have been the thinking when the acquisition took place.
You need to be creative to lead, just following the trend will never help. A continuous reminder that there are many players in the market trying to lure your customer will keep you on your toes and the moment you stop innovating you stand on the verge of doom.
Do let me know your thoughts on the points above, I'd love to hear your feedback