Working in retail has never been glamorous. Rude customers, long hours, and little pay are common in the retail industry. However, since the COVID-19 pandemic, the retail industry has changed dramatically, and many experts agree that it will never be the same again.
If you want to learn more about retail industry challenges, read on.
1. Hiring and Retaining Employees
There has always been a high turnover rate in retail, but hiring and retaining good employees is even more difficult now. As the pandemic rages on, businesses in every industry are struggling to attract new employees. Increased wages, hiring bonuses, and streamlined application processes have done little to bring applicants to retail establishments.
To hire new employees and retain good employees, retail stores will need to get creative, especially as the number of open positions increases and those looking for jobs can be choosy.
2. Keeping Up With Customer Expectations
The way you’ve always done things might not be the best plan any longer. To stay relevant, retail stores will need to adjust to meet their customers’ expectations, or they will lose them to other stores or online shopping.
Stores need to pay attention to the economy and how much (or how little) people are buying, the competition, and sales and other tactics to meet expectations. They also need to be prepared to adjust quickly to meet changing customer demands.
3. Keeping and Attracting Loyal Customers
If you’ve purchased something in-store or online recently, chances are you were asked to create an online account or sign up for a loyalty program. These loyalty programs keep track of your purchases and reward you with sales codes, free items, early access to sales, and other things not available to those who aren’t loyal customers.
To attract these customers, you need to create a personalized experience where customers feel that they are more than just a customer and that you understand their wants and needs.
4. Getting Customers Into the Store
Everyone is shopping online. If you don’t have an online presence, it’s nearly impossible to survive in today’s retail market. However, people are still buying in stores and some people want to be able to come to a store to see things that they then order online.
According to a recent study by Mandoe Media, 68% of shoppers say they’d prefer to buy apparel in-store than online, this is because they prefer to try clothes on in store, so it’s important to keep up to date with physical advertising trends.
One way to get people into the store is to offer free returns of online purchases if they come into the store or a feature where you can order online and have the items shipped to the store for free. This gets people into your store, gives them the opportunity to make additional purchases, and gives you and your employees the opportunity to interact with your customers.
5. Managing Returns
Shopping online means that many consumers buy a bunch of sizes or a bunch of different items to find the ones that fit and look best. They then will return the bulk of their purchases, making returns variance processing an issue. Someone needs to unpack the returns, handle all of the processing to refund your money, and then figure out what you are going to do with the returned items.
6.Working In Retail is Not for the Faint of Heart
Working in retail can be a thankless job. The retail industry is often unforgiving and there are many challenges, especially due to the pandemic. However, if you recognize these challenges and take steps to address them, your business can survive and even flourish.
For more business-related content, be sure to check out some of our other articles before you go.