Are you interested or involved in a retail business? We’re here for you. Ready to answer some of the most commonly asked questions is our retail expert Thomas Adera. Mr. Adera has had vast industry experience and is happy to share nuggets of wisdom. Follow this series and submit more questions on the comment section below.
1.What attracts a customer to a store?
Other than cleanliness and neatness, something very key is the product arrangement otherwise known as visual merchandising. Customers are happy to enjoy new experiences that they may not get in other stores. People are naturally visual and something good always stays in mind.
2.a) What’s the best change about the Retail Industry over the last 10 years?
Retail has undergone many changes over time. Ten years ago, there was a major boom in Supermarkets and Hypermarkets and they grew at a fast rate. The introduction of malls was also a big advantage for them. However, in the last few years to date, this trend has changed because some of the major supermarket chains in the country have shut down. This has changed the game completely as now it’s minimarts that are leading the pack. Minimarts cover a bigger target audience as they are located in highly populated areas and are very convenient for the shoppers.
b) How has this affected suppliers?
Several suppliers have had to change their strategy, especially those who were heavily invested only in Supermarkets and Hypermarkets. They are now investing a lot in the minimarkets which are quickly growing since they serve a massive number of people.
Suppliers are able to understand retailers who are at business owner policy (BOP) more; as they do not rely entirely on major supermarkets. Abuse of buyer power has reduced drastically even though we see some multi-nationals being able to negotiate for better prices with suppliers as they are able to make upfront payment. Suppliers are able to extend better prices to retailers who are at the BOP, by extension to the end consumer.
3.What’s your take on eCommerce? Will it be embraced?
eCommerce or online shopping is wonderful because it comes with great convenience. Products can be sold at a faster rate and within a shorter period of time, which is a plus for both the seller and the customer. With good training and the eCommerce platforms made easy to navigate, more people are likely to take it up.
However, eCommerce also has its limitations more so in third-world countries. First, there’s the issue of poor infrastructure which makes it difficult for deliveries to be made and in good time and also, many people are skeptical to use it since they can’t be sure they will get exactly what they ordered and whether it will arrive in good condition. Due to such issues, it may take some time, but eventually we will be able to tackle the challenges and eCommerce will be embraced by most if not all, in one way or another.
4.What are some key tips when setting up a store?
Before you open a store, do some market research and get to establish, then learn about your target audience. It’s also good to ensure you have enough money so that you don’t get stuck when you start selling the products. Also, it’s important to have adequate stock and a great relationship with the suppliers and ultimately have great customer service in place.