Retail Sales Projected to Rise 3.1%, But That's Not Enough
The National Retail Federation (NRF) recently released its sales forecast for 2016, and it's predicting steady growth year-over-year of 3.1 percent. While this is on par with previous years’ gains, it’s just not good enough for retailers looking to blow the doors off in 2016.
The retail industry is constantly evolving, forcing brands to generate new and exciting ways to attract customers and increase margins. Thankfully, there are several fresh concepts retailers can harness to exceed average growth and become an all-star in the space. Here are three of the best:
Take advantage of omnichannel interaction: According to research from the Aberdeen Group, businesses that use a multichannel approach keep an average of 89 percent of their customers — leaps and bounds beyond the 33 percent of customers retained by businesses without multichannel tactics. Why? Well, it could be because 98 percent of Americans bounce from device to device during the course of their day.
Want to take this omnichannel strategy even further? Consider webrooming and showrooming. Creating a cohesive brand that easily transitions from online to in-store can deliver the uniform experience customers crave. Not only will it clean up your look, but it can help narrow choices prior to purchase on the mirrored channel.
Go on-demand: Not only are consumers moving from taxis to Ubers and movie rental stores to Netflix, but shopping is going on-demand as well. Retailers selling everything from clothes to groceries are jumping on the bandwagon. Take Topshop's and Macy’s personal shoppers or Kroger’s new ClickList park-and-load pick up as examples. Traditional retailers are trending toward making shopping easier and less stressful for consumers.
Give them some grub: Once they’ve finished shopping, many customers head out to grab a bite to eat. It doesn’t have to be that way. Stores like Target, Ikea and Bass Pro Shops are already offering dining options to keep customers in their stores longer — and have proved that it works. If you’ve got the resources, this is a great option that can help keep your customers captive.
Kevin Cundiff is vice president of retail for Fortegra, a subsidiary of Tiptree Financial Inc. Fortegra is a single-source insurance services company that offers a range of consumer protection options.
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