We hear the phrase everywhere. Yet few ask explicitly: what is omni-channel retailing? Omni-channel is defined by TechTarget as “a multi-channel approach to sales that seeks to provide the customer with a seamless shopping experience whether the customer is shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone or Read More
Retail can be generally defined as the sale of goods and services from companies directly to customers. Traditionally, a retailer will buy goods or products in large quantities from manufacturers, either directly from the manufacturer or indirectly through a wholesaler. These goods and services are then sold individually or in small quantities to the public, often in a store or similar center of business.
The retail store is the outlet by which products are offered to the consumer, allowing a means to offer products in a way that will maximize market availability while providing the consumer the greatest opportunity for value, variety and choice. Through the evolution of retailing, the concept of the store has progressed beyond the walls of a brick-and-mortar operation and into the realm of the Internet, with the emergence of e-commerce as an essential aspect of many retail operations.
Retail is a business, and the aim of a business is to make money and turn a profit. Yet the process is more complicated than simply buying a building, filling it with merchandise, putting in a register and hoping for sales. Upon looking at the retail industry from a global perspective, we must consider the elements that make a retail business successful and profitable:
- We have to establish an identity that will attract our core customers. Establishing our identity sets the tone for everything that follows.
- We want to provide a quality product at an attractive price. The basic principles of supply and demand: Provide a product that we know people will want to buy, and offer it at a price that we know they will pay.
- We need to display our product in a way that makes it desirable to purchase. This concept must reach beyond our visual display and extend to the appearance and efficiency of the store or site.
- Our entire approach to the business should have our customers in mind. We should take all necessary steps to make our customers feel that they are important, that we will take care of them, that we value their opinions and their business, and that we want them to return and offer us their future business.
- We should provide an environment where our customer feels welcome, comfortable, confident, safe and secure. Our business should provide an atmosphere where our customer wants to shop, and should reflect a culture that best fits the core customer.
The most successful retail operations apply these simple but critical concepts as essential aspects of their core business. Retail is a dynamic business, but it can also be a delicate business. Many retail operations that falter or fail do so because they have in some way lost sight of the core business model. Clear vision must permeate every aspect and every department within the organization in order for it to succeed.
Sales drive the retail industry. When we look to measure the overall success of the business, we look to sales first. Understanding this, it should come as no surprise that brand objectives, planning, and ideals are built around the concept of sales—whether via e-commerce channels or in a brick-and-mortar store. Yet while sales may provide the barometer for profits, it is ultimately profit that will determine the success or failure of a retail business.
Profit margins are precisely where loss prevention departments have the greatest opportunity to make an impact on the success of the business. Retail shrink is in fact lost profits. Successful loss prevention planning thus looks to maximize profits by limiting shrink and improving efficiencies while enhancing the impact on sales.
It is through the understanding of the fundamental concepts and operations of the retail industry that we develop strong and productive business partnerships. But understanding alone isn’t enough. There also must be an acceptance of these concepts, and that acceptance must be embedded in everything that we do and every decision that we make as part of the business.
CEOs representing the retail industry met February 15 with President Trump at the White House to discuss cutting taxes and regulations to stimulate job growth. The CEOs from several major retailers included Marvin Ellison, current CEO for JCPenney, who started his career in loss prevention with Target and advanced to Read More
Compared to the United States and some other countries around the world, Canadian shoppers have been slower to adopt online shopping. As of 2013 (the most recent year of verified statistics), only 13 percent of Canadian businesses were selling online. But other statistics show that Canadians are more than willing Read More
February 13, 2017 | David Speights, Ph.D., Daniel Downs, Ph.D., and Adi Raz, MBA | Retail Industry
Merchandise return transactions are a critical part of the customer experience of the retail industry. The objective is an optimal return rate, where the retailer finds the right balance between too many returns that may lead to return fraud and abuse and too few returns that may lead to customer Read More
Over 35,000 attendees visited the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) BIG Show in New York City’s Jacob Javits Convention Center January 15-17. For those who have not visited the exhibition hall, it the equivalent in size of all the various loss-prevention-specific shows combined—plus double or more. Several LP suppliers were in Read More
The Retail Industry’s Biggest Expo Features Integrated Technology at the Heart of Omni-Channel Retailing
Integrated technology is on display throughout the exhibition halls at the National Retail Federation’s BIG Show in New York City’s Jacob Javits Convention Center January 15–17. On-shelf availability, product visibility, customer experience, associate management, and, yes, asset protection—all are included in solutions provided by hundreds of companies both large and Read More
LP Magazine’s Managing Editor Jack Trlica is headed to the National Retail Federation’s 106th annual Retail’s BIG Show next week. Before he takes off for New York City, we asked him what he was most looking forward to at one of the biggest industry events of the year.
What trends do Read More
Since the dawn of the digital age, economists, industry experts, ongoing retail trends, and consumer behaviors have all pointed to the changing portrait of the retail landscape. We’ve seen rolling hills transformed into a series of peaks and valleys as the image is weathered by the storms of change.
Much has Read More
It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again: The Future of Retail Will Include Circuit City
E-commerce may be retail’s future, but brick and mortar is far from dead.
We all remember Circuit City, right? At one time, it was the giant in the consumer electronics retail space. With hundreds of stores, it was Read More
Many industry experts projected that the rise of e-commerce would lead to the extinction of brick-and-mortar retail. But that hasn’t happened. Why? Because physical stores combined with other shopping platforms have been found to play an essential role in meeting customer’s multidimensional and dynamic shopping needs.
It’s been proven that brick-and-mortar Read More