Working in Retail Sucks

images (35)Anyone who is working in retail knows what a pain it can be, and how little compensation you receive for all the trouble and abuse you have to take. For starters, you usually only make minimum wage, which has not been a cost of living salary for about the past 50 years. That means that not only do you have to put up with one retail job, you most likely have to hold down more than one at the same time.

That means you experience twice as much abuse at the hands of disrespectful and demanding customers as well as incompetent managers and bosses who have no idea what they’re doing. Many of the managers in retail had absolutely no managerial experience before being put into that role, and it is often the case that they manage more from a place of ego that from a strategic or effective perspective. Even though their responsibilities are so insignificant, they have an inflated view of their position and their titles – and they feel like it is their big chance to lord it over all of their fellow employees. Most of them are focused not on how to efficiently and effectively run a business, but on how to ingratiate themselves to the owners by kissing-up to them.

Worse still, you may have a manager who is also the owner. These owner-operators of small businesses are particularly prone to putting their own interests ahead of the interests of their employees. The way they see it, the goal is to get the most work they can get out of an employee for the least amount of wages. Retail sucks because oftentimes your own boss will try to cheat you out of the hours you worked, or will have you come in early or stay late, without compensating you fairly with overtime pay. Not only do they not pay actual overtime wages, but they expect you to be on call even when you are off the clock. They’ll call and email you at night and on weekends, for example, or make you pick up a shift or part of a shift on short notice. Even if you have to come into work for only an hour or two – which is not worth it if you are earning minimum wage – that can be enough to disrupt your whole day and whatever personal plans you may have made.

Last but not least, there are the customers, who may be the biggest reason that having to work in retail sucks. So many of them feel completely entitled, just because they are spending a little money or flashing their credit card. They will blame you if what they purchased didn’t work, doesn’t fit, or isn’t in stock – even though you have nothing to do with any of that. They’ll curse at you over the phone, scream at you abusively in person in front of the whole store, or report you to your manager just because they are having a bad day – or just because they know they can get away with it. They’ll hold up a long line just so they can recheck the cash register receipt or because they were too spaced-out to bring enough money to pay for everything in their shopping cart. They’ll badger you because you won’t accept their expired coupons, and they’ll act indignant if you don’t take all that abuse with a fake smile on your face.



Basic Tips For Setting Up A Successful Retail Business

download (32)If you are in a retail business and looking for ways to capture the market, there are a few principles that you need to put in place to endear yourself to the clients. You can ask for the help of professional marketing service providers, in devising the best strategies for your business.

Understand your clients and the needs for which they seek your products. Determine how your products serve the need that your clients have. Focus on a particular area that you have the competence to serve effectively.

The foundation of effective retail business is built on the four Ps that include price, place, product, and promotion. As for the product, create a product range that not only satisfies the clients but also delivers a profit.

Determine the best price in the marketing mix that meets the needs of your business and does not make the customers feel as if you are ripping them off. There is no low or high price as the pricing depends on the value that the customers place on your products.

The visibility of your products is important if the customers are to buy. This is why it is important to be in the right place and at the right time. For example, packed food should be in stores where the clients buy their groceries or household goods. On the other hand, when selling online, create a presence on sites frequented by the potential customers to get high visibility.

Once you have identified the clients, developed a good product, and priced it conveniently, you need to tell the clients about your products. Promotion involves such activities as branding, advertising, giving free samples, and merchandising. Choose the channels that would reach your clients in the best way possible. You may enlist the help of a marketing agency to help spread the firm.

Go an extra mile to delight your clients. Strive to deliver a world-class customer service to deliver more than what you promise. A wonder customer experience keeps the customer coming back for more. If combined with the right solutions, it is one of the best ways to beat the competition.


Are You The Right Wholesaler For Your Customers?

download (31)First of all, you have to make sure that you look at genuine wholesalers. There are also three main types of legitimate wholesalers:

• Some deal with goods that are damaged, used or are wholesale surplus.

• Others deal with normal forms of merchandise.

• Still others deal with goods that are fake or counterfeit.

Which wholesaler you choose depends on your preferences and how much profit you would like to make in the long run.

Dealing With Wholesalers

When you know what kind of goods you want to deal with you can negotiate prices. There are a number of tips you can follow in order to make the most money out of your deals:

• Take time to research all wholesalers. The Internet is a great source of good suppliers but at the same time, it is also bad. Check out reviews and forums. eBay suppliers tend to have ratings which can be useful guides.

• Generally, you will not pay less than 30% to 35% of the retail price if your merchandise is new. The only way you’ll get around this is if you purchase bulk orders.

• If you want to get a good discount then buy in bulk. However, if you’ve decided to purchase wholesale lots, damaged, surplus or counterfeit goods, you’ll get the best discounts by far. If you’ve opted for the latter, then always take the time to check out the product beforehand.

• Never pay in advance. This is an easy way bad companies scam people. When first trying wholesalers out, this is not a good option. However, if you don’t have a choice, then don’t purchase a large quantity if at all possible. Alternatively, use PayPal: this company only allows the seller to receive the money once you, as the buyer, inform them to do so. In other words, once you have been able to check the product. This system allows both you and the seller to relax more with the transaction. There are still dangers surrounding this, however, so you should still be as cautious as you can.

Finding good wholesalers isn’t an impossible task. But, just as you don’t want to be the victim of a scam or untrustworthy business, so they don’t either. Therefore, if you deal fairly with them, they will generally reflect this back to you. However, always be cautious and make use of vehicles such as wholesaler forums to keep up-to-date with the latest issues and reviews.

Bhupesh Patel is an SEO Consultant & Expert with 8 years of experience in digital marketing. He writes articles, blogs, testimonials and classifieds for his own interest. He is a regular contributor on various domains like retails, wholesalers, digital Marketing, fashion, beauty, software, technology, Entertainment and others.


How To Grow Your Retail Business In A Highly Competitive Market

download (28)Surviving as a retail store owner is not without its challenges. Companies in this industry have to go beyond merely offering quality products at reasonable prices. They also need to have strategies in place that allow them to consistently stand out from their competition. This is one of the most competitive fields out there. Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to build a robust customer base and keep your clients engaged.

Use online marketing tools to share valuable information. Help your clients and prospective clients navigate the purchasing process by giving them the information they need to make knowledgeable buying decisions. Transparency in product pricing is also a great way to explain why you charge a bit more than your closest competitors. Consumers respect efforts on the part of businesses to place quality before economy.

Capitalize on the general tendency to make impulse purchasing decisions. Learn more about your regular customers and their buying habits. Find out which offers and virtual or physical displays make people want to act right away and then use these as often as you possibly can.

Incite a sense of urgency in your regular clients through social media posts, email marketing campaigns and other forms of outreach. Giving deals a time limit and then letting your clients know that these limits exist will make them afraid to miss out. If using email transmissions to incite urgency, make sure that the most important information is readily available in your subject lines so that these messages are not ignored or overlooked.

Discuss trending topics on social media platforms and then relate them back to you business. Stay abreast of current news events and create personable, informed posts on these issues. You can even offer to donate a small percentage of your short-term sales to local causes that are of a special interest to your primary market. Not only will this increase consumer trust, but it will also increase your sales and foster greater goodwill for your brand.

Make a continuous effort to review and refresh you retail marketing strategy as the needs and interests of your targeted market change. Strategies that worked excellently in the past are not guaranteed to provide the same results into the future. Taking stock of the different forms of outreach that they use and tweaking your efforts to better suit evolving needs will help you avoid waste, missed opportunities and efforts on the part of your competitors to usurp your dominant market position.



Making the Most of Your Retail Space

download (30)There are some differences in merchandising theory between the neighbourhood grocery store and the sporting goods store down the street. The fact remains that both are merchandised in the same way. Both use an organized and attractive layout to maximize each item’s sales potential. These merchandising principles used by major retailers are the same ideas you should follow. Why? Because they work.

It’s an old, often overused retail adage, but it’s true: “You can’t sell it if it’s in the stockroom.” Almost all people enjoy shopping for products in which they have an interest. Why not display products in an attractive way? Then customers can inspect, explore and, yes, even buy.

Floor and wall gondolas are the best merchandising fixtures to use in a retail outlet. A gondola is a freestanding fixture used by retailers to display merchandise. Gondolas typically consist of a flat base and a vertical component featuring notches, pegboards, or slatwalls. The vertical piece can be fitted with shelves, hooks, or other displays.

Your budget may not extend to purchasing new floor gondolas. There are used fixture outlets where many of the same fixturing needs can be bought for much less cost.

For those stores without space for the 8- to 10-foot long gondolas, the same merchandising displays can be set up and organized on wall pegboard.

Self-made wall pegboard is much less expensive. With a few basic materials and a hammer and screwdriver, you can have some decent-looking display boards.

Once your store is set up with the desired amount of floor and wall gondolas or wall pegboards, you can proceed to the next step.

All good merchandising begins with categorizing or segmentation of merchandise by its types. First you must determine the product categories you will stock and offer your customers.

Next, you categorize for the customers’ convenience. You have to make it easy for them to locate and select the specific product desired.

Placing merchandise in categories is nothing new. Department stores were born on the idea. Notice the pages of mass merchants’ advertising circulars are even segmented by category. Hardware items together, lingerie together, automotive accessories together, and so on.

Dual merchandising, presenting the same item in two different locations, is OK. It is a good idea if the product relates to several categories. Batteries show up in department stores in as many as half a dozen departments. (Toys, cameras, sporting goods, electronics, etc.) In a security store, a combination lock may be in the padlock section but also in the chain and cable area. They relate.

Without careful categorizing of merchandising, customers are guaranteed to get confused and frustrated. A scattered unorganized approach to the presentation will make them stop looking before they have a chance to get their wallets out.

Assuming you have plenty of merchandise in each of your basic categories, you are now ready to place them before your customers. Remember, sound merchandise placement sells products. This practice is critical for any retail store.

Your best-selling items should take up prominent locations on the gondolas. These should face either the customers’ counter/register or be in plain view when visitors walk in the store. Some consider this area the “impulse item” region. You will find that these items will sell better if the customers see what you have that they don’t.

Finally, glass cases are great and a must in selling jewelry or cosmetics. They are attractive and effective when selling expensive gadgets, electronics and the like.