If you’re reading this, you’ve probably successfully launched your retail business, and are now at a place where your company is stable and (hopefully) profitable. Congratulations!? With everything going pretty well in your business, you’re now thinking of how you can I take my business to the next level. If so, then you’re in the right place.
This article looks at the six ways you can expand your retail business.
1. Expand to other locations
Most retailers open new stores in other locations to widen brand presence offline and reach new customers. If you’re able to open new shops, recognize that the success of your multi-store operation will depend on how well you balance your local strategy and your process/technologies of your business.
Let’s start with local strategy
You don’t have to open carbon copies of your original store. Yes, your branding and processes will remain the same, but, you should also add a local flavor into each shop. This will enable you to connect with local shoppers and gain their business in the process. When opening additional stores, get to know each new community and tailor your marketing, sales, and customer service to their needs.
Process and technologies
While you can (and should) be creative with your local strategies, your core policies, procedures and technologies must be standardized across all your stores. This will result in a consistent, streamlined organization that delivers the same efficient response at each location.
Let’s start with the tech side of things. Using the same hardware and software to run your shops will make your business much more manageable. Furthermore, setting up becomes simpler, and it’s also easier to train new employees (no matter what store they’re assigned to) when you’re using a uniformed system to run your locations.
And, when a franchisees open,you can use step-by-step guides and flowcharts to help them get familiar with how the business runs. Doing all these things will allow you to easily replicate each store, thus making your expansion incredibly efficient.
2. Expand to other sales channels
If you’re not too keen to open new stores in other locations, you can then consider diversifying your channels:
Setting up an online store will enable you to reach a wider audience and help you grow your customer base practically overnight.
Online market places
Other retailers choose to open up additional revenue streams by selling on online marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, and Takealot. Some customers prefer marketplaces. So, doing this will enable you to not only increase sales but also drive traffic to your branded ecommerce store.
More and more consumers are shopping on the go. Expanding to the mobile realm gives you the ability to keep up. If you already have an online store, going mobile shouldn’t be difficult. Lots of ecommerce platforms these days offer mobile capabilities so you can sell to your on-the-go customers with ease.
You’ll have to consider expanding to the social media realm as well especially if you have a large and engaged social following.
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3. Grow your product and service offerings
Adding new items or services to your catalog can help you grow your business.You can start by looking at any related products or services that you can sell. Are shoppers asking for anything in particular? Is there anything they really need, but you haven’t started selling yet?
You could also offer services on top of the products you already offer. Think of ways to help customers make the most out of what you’re selling and see if you can provide those services to them.
4. Expand to other markets
You can diversify your products and services even more by venturing into new markets. One company that has successfully pulled this off is Birchbox. The subscription service, which started out by sending female consumers boxes of beauty products, soon expanded its business to tap into the male market.
5. Pop up in other places
If you’re really set on expanding into other geographic markets, but don’t have the funds (or the confidence) to set up a full-fledged retail store, you could first set up a pop-up store instead.
In addition to helping you minimize spending (retailers can save up to 80% by opening a pop-up vs. a traditional store), pop-up stores allow you to test the waters in a particular location so you can determine whether or not it’ll be worth it to set up a more permanent store.