USEFUL TIPS FOR LOSS PREVENTION IN YOUR STORE OR SUPERMARKET

A key element in annual business results is the effort put into loss prevention plans in our stores or supermarkets. In the process of identification in vulnerable points in retail, it would be considered from the total integrity of our collaborators and clients to the risks that are run with respect to the own facilities in which we operate our stores.

Whenever we hear the term loss prevention we refer to robberies, but this is not necessarily so, since loss prevention covers a wide range of operations and operations around them. There are more and more retailers that include the processes to identify all these vulnerabilities and risks in their annual business plans, which will result in the strong decrease of losses.

LOSS PREVENTION STRATEGY

The main requirement to be able to carry out a successful prevention strategy must be the owners’ total conviction of the need to anticipate, prevent and fight against what is considered risk of loss, identifying all that may impact the personnel assets of the company. After all this, the risk of loss agenda must stay every year.

The annual risk agenda will possess 4 principal elements:

  • Personal: It implies the responsibility and actions of our associates.
  • Policies and procedures: Creation and follow-up of the internal document for all employees where the company’s rules are clarified.
  • Technology: Controlling the proper use of all tools available in our stores, both personal use, as well as monitoring and control.
  • Infrastructure: It means that all our facilities must be perfectly prepared and comply with safety standards.

Training will be necessary for our personnel, linked to the situations and conditions that are determined in the annual prevention plan and is necessary for all natural processes in daily operations to be fulfilled.

RELATED: TODOS SUPERMARKET OWNER ASKS HOUSE COMMITTEE TO ELIMINATE COSTLY REGULATIONS

One of the mistakes that retailers make is to believe that their business does not have any important significant risks, or that we already have enough with the plans that are executed year after year without inserting new ones. This error is almost always linked to the idea that these prevention plans involve enormous costs, but in any case, this must be counted as an investment, because it is a great investment that will save you billions in losses in the future.

To achieve all the objectives we have detailed, internal control must be organized in several components:

  • Control environment. Both staff and clients must have the full conviction of being in a 100% controlled environment against significant risks.
  • Evaluation of risks. Always maintaining evidence and evaluation of all risks.
  • Control activities. Unlike the control environment, control activities are those that exist to minimize the risks.
  • Information and constant communication. It covers the feedback process that must exist in our stores.
  • Continuous monitoring. Internal audits.
  • Trust control evaluations. Examine constant prevention control with employees. In conclusion, no matter the size of the business, we can all suffer losses. Success will be in our prevention systems in order to minimize them.

6 RECOMMENDATIONS TO PLAN A SUCCESSFUL SALES SEASON

The international consultancy company Analyticalways, which specializes in predictive analytics technologies for store inventory management, has produced a report with the keys to good store management in the sales season.

“They are the times of the year in which stores play a large part of their turnover, especially fashion, jewelry or accessories. For many, success or failure in this sales season will be a turning point in their business, “said Managing Director of Analyticalways, Amancio Junior.

Mexican Cooking Tips and Recipes

Amancio Junior states that “red signs with ‘SALE’ signs and discounts of 40%, 50% or 70% are no longer enough,” while adding that “seek maximum efficiency in all processes and generate a better customer experience will provide a plus to win customers against the competition. For this, it is necessary to take into account numerous variables, from a good strategy of prices to efficient management of the stock, among others. ”

THE SIX KEYS THAT ANALYTICALWAYS PROPOSES FOR THE SALES SEASON ARE:

1. PLAN THE OFFERS IN ADVANCE:

Plan discounts, promotions, products and even involve employees in this process. Set actual sales targets by product families, delimit actions to achieve those objectives and establish mechanisms to be able to measure them at the end of each campaign.

2. STOCK MANAGEMENT:

Always count with the precise stock for each circumstance. It is no longer necessary to have all sizes available for all products. Stock management technologies use algorithms designed specifically for the needs of retailers and let you know in detail how sales evolve.

3. USE VISUAL MERCHANDISING TO ATTRACT CUSTOMERS:

A shop window is the best weapon to generate exposure traffic since the emotional factor is responsible for the purchasing decisions of customers up to 80% of the time. The good management of these are summarized in having at any time controlled each SKU, for example, from a mobile device.

RELATED: 15 KEY BENEFITS OF TRADE ADVERTISING TO IMPROVE SALES

4. PREPARE THE VENDORS:

Collaboratively manage the objectives of the stores of the same brand and organize employees based on these sales targets through technological tools. If the salesperson has a statistically based view on what he has to sell and how to do it he can optimize the management of his time so as not to reduce the average basket at times with more flow of customers in the store.

5. LOYALTY TO YOUR CUSTOMERS:

Getting new customers is one of the maximum offers, but it is also a good opportunity to retain and reward the regular customers. To do this, it works to apply special offers to recurring customers, with personalized discounts on products specially recommended for them.

6. DEVELOP A GOOD PRICING STRATEGY:

Study the market and analyze the price systems of the competition without losing sight of the margins of business. Be creative in pricing strategy: offering 2×1, additional discounts if the customer buys several products, give a reduced product if the customer buys a new collection product, or apply a rebate depending on the amount spent by the customer.

IMMEDIATE GOALS FOR THE SUPERMARKET CHAINS’ SUCCESS

To improve and make effective the buying experience, consolidate a model of proximity and closeness, with multi channel strategies and a focus on people, is an immediate objective for supermarkets. This could be the summary of the greatest opportunities and objectives of supermarket chains in the new retail era, basically the opinion of the greatest retail executives at global level.

They all agree that there is a need to execute the digital transformation and adapt to the changes of a consumer who no longer distinguishes between one channel or another (physical vs. digital). A consumer who demands proximity and closeness, as well as modernization and moments that help him to create new experiences, in any format, moment or place.

El Yucateco

One of the principal challenges is to deepen the process of innovation that mark the future of supermarkets and can be grouped into three main axes: those related with digital transformation- from online sales to logistics; the changes designed to optimize the shopper experience; and finally, the increase of energy efficiency of the stores, warehouses and transport.

Another one would be the necessity to offer the consumer an integrated and quality service, regardless of the medium that the latter chooses to access. The omnicanality, understood as the communication and access to the customer through various channels, and the coexistence of online commerce together with the physical store, is a way in which great strides are being made without losing the essence of the proximity trade model.

We must consolidate even more the model of the local supermarket, which is the format that is now in full expansion in the United States (Aldi, Lidl, Walmart Neighborhood …) because it can make available a complete purchase with variety, quality, sustainability and food security very close to their homes with the most competitive prices. One of the tasks we must do is to deepen the achievement of high levels of efficiency throughout the entire chain in a model in which all are winners.

STRATEGIES THAT ANY SUPERMARKET SHOULD FOLLOW

Knowing how to develop a successful digital strategy in order to take advantage of new digital technologies for making new competitive opportunities in the physical channel, in addition to taking advantage of new digital channels to generate growth, new businesses, greater market value and greater connection with customers, and all from a multi channel perspective (to meet all expectations of current and future generations of clients).

Experience is relevant in supermarket chains. It deals with putting value in the physical store, knowing how to transform the “buying operation” into a store experience (and even better, a brand), that has to be more technological, more agile, more interactive, but also more fun, more inspiring and more discovering. The real challenge is making it a relevant experience: more than personalized, that connects with the interests and vital purposes of customers.

Humanization and personal connection. Supermarket teams are the principal competitive advantage of off-line commerce due to the level of service, support, professionalism and the capacity to connect with clients and, today, it can still not be matched with “on-line.”

The challenge, therefore, lies in the fact that the entire business strategy puts such strengths in value and not, as we sometimes see, technology introduced in store to dehumanize them in the name of agility or cost reduction.

The current client is multi channel, and demands an optimal shopping experience regardless of the channel. The challenge for our distribution sector is to adapt this trend by monitoring and controlling customer behavior in all channels, in an integrated manner.

RELATED: BUYERS AND RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION

For that, technological tools are needed like ERP’s, linked to CRM’s, and they orient a profitable electronic commerce. All of them, in order to respond to the expectations of a more demanding customer who knows what they want and premium the immediacy and availability of what they are looking for, both in the physical and digital environment.

This change also affects the sectors of the economy, becoming a challenge and an opportunity for growth, which requires collaboration between all economic agents and all links in the chain. A cooperation based on trust and transparency in the flow of information that allows us to be more competitive.

Being prepared for a constant change of environment and demand, is part of any company that wants to last in time. In Covirán, our mission is to provide independent retailers, their customers and society, supermarkets of proximity through a comprehensive offer of business, based on profitability, trust, cooperation and generating growth in the local economy. There is no doubt that innovation has become one of the main levers for the growth of our company, fundamental to continue guaranteeing our present and future growth.

Thanks to the advanced analytics, companies can have a deeper knowledge about their clients, and can also determine their purchasing tactics. The analysis of data, the Big Data, offers more possibilities, for companies of our sector and can make a difference. This trend will mark the future of our companies and will contribute not only to attracting new customers, but also to loyalty to existing ones.

The recent purchase of Whole Foods Market by Amazon has been a milestone in the global market, as it is the online operator that buys the physical, and this is the necessary step for multi channel. This dreamy purchase will mark a before and after in the future of our exciting food retail world.

POP-UP STORES: STRATEGY ESSENTIALS FOR RETAILERS

“Pop-up” stores are short-lived commercial spaces that are purposed for making a direct impact on potential consumers or brands that will also appear in pop-up stores.

This kind of establishment is not limited to exclusive markets, such as fashion or VIP products. The biggest commercial brands take advantage of the pop-up stores to improve the notoriety of the brand, raise sales and appoint new markets.

In many cases, they take advantage of brands to try out formats they have not tried before.

For example, a British retail chain of watches started with a pop-up store in London before signing a permanent lease and opened more stores in London’s Regent Street and SoHo in New York.

The pop-up stores are used periodically for showcasing new products. For example, the DSW shoe chain debuted its range of custom 3D printed shoes at emerging locations in New York and San Francisco, which allow visitors to really see their new shoes on virtual testers.

Google is also experimenting “offline” with a new space in New York’s Soho. Even though buyers can’t purchase anything from the pop-up made by Google, the store offers the chance to test the brand’s new hardware.

A FORMAT IN EVOLUTION

When pop-ups entered the scene, critics thought it could pose a threat to traditional store chains and businesses. In the end, it was proven that this was not the case and that the two concepts complimented each other.

For example, the British Hunter, known for their colorful cookies, established a pop-up store in London’s Picadilly Circus, a few feet away from their “flagship” store in Regent Street. This location was principally a “Satellite” that directed customers to the main store and also increased the awareness of the brand.

In other places, the brands were taking advantage of the pop-up to directly impact products to their target market, as well as keeping them up-to-date on what’s new.

The Canadian fashion chain Kit and Ace collaborated with luxury hotel chains for the Carry-on, which offered guests and local residents the opportunity to purchase a selection of brand clothing and travel accessories.

Essentially, the initiative also presented an online version, offering digital shoppers access to guides of the city from local “influencers,” as well as recommendations of the product.

Lately we are seeing pop-ups used as a key part of a multi-channel marketing plan, brands are realizing that they need to let live on equal terms to the digital and the physical. If someone has a good brand experience in the real world, then they will shop online too.

NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR BIGGER BRANDS

Inside retail’s modern strategy, pop-ups are used with frequency to attract customers in a unique way, like Remy Martin’s drinks brand, which tours the cities of the United States and allows visitors to make their own cognac. Brands recognize that a pop-up needs to provide something special. A smaller version of a simple store would never work.

Creating such immersion and interaction experiences can turn casual visitors into loyal, long-term clients.

On the other hand, to companies that offer seasonal products and services, pop-ups offer great benefits. For example, Magnum ice cream has had success with its pop-up store in London, which has allowed them to maximize their brand awareness in mid-summer.

ARE POP-UP STORES FOR EVERY BRAND?

While pop-up stores have transformed the retail strategy of many brands, the brands themselves must carefully think about how the format fits their global approach. For some retailers, because of their concept and the amount of time it takes in launching a Pop-up, it does not work for them.

A key challenge for retailers is to get accurate results in a relatively short time.

When testing for physical stores, retailers have to take a pop-up for at least six months to a year. We usually see that retailers become much more successful the longer they have been in one place, due to factors such as word of mouth and consumer awareness.

RELATED: HOW TO IMPROVE THE IMAGE AND PROFITABILITY OF OUR NETWORK OF STORES

However, while pop-ups continue to attract customers, they will remain a key part of a modern selling strategy.

Now that some of the bigger brands are adopting pop-ups, they have improved tremendously in quality and creativity in the last 10 years, and this seems only to be the beginning.

Why it is so important to provide good customer service

Some too much and some nothing at all. This is a well-known saying for almost every aspect of life that may occur to us. Since we are retail, it has always struck me that neighboring stores with apparent similarities enjoy very different luck, as far as customer favor is concerned.

I recently moved into another house and the supermarkets close to me form an important role on a day to day basis; buying fruits and vegetables, bread, butter, etc.

There are two supermarkets that are practically corner to corner of each other and in appearance target the same customer audience. One of them always has a busy atmosphere and is continually filled with customers in all its corridors, while the other doesn’t even pick up on distracted customers.

Our parents and grandparents always taught us that road restaurants where the most trucks were parked at always had the best food. Following that example, the first day I had to grocery shop for the house, I went into the supermarket with the most customers.

My experience was a good one not only the first day, but all the ones that followed.

After going several times in the successful supermarket and passing the one that had hardly any customer traffic, I was filled with the idea that as a customer I had been behaving in an “unfair” way because I had not given an opportunity to the other supermarket. One night when I was coming home from work, I decided to give the “bad” supermarket a chance.

Bad service is the worst thing for a customer

When I entered, I was surprised at the instant bad smells I detected (rotten food, burned bread, strong toilet smell).

In the meat area, two employees talked amongst themselves, taking longer than two minutes to attend me. It seemed they weren’t used to customers coming in and deciding to stay.

I continued my walk around the store, meanwhile hearing voices from inside the warehouse laughing and arguing. It appeared there was more movement and “fun” in the cellar then in the sales area of the store.

The employee found in the bakery section was found “texting” on her cellphone the entire time without even lifting her head to attend me.

When I told her I needed her help, only then did she detect the annoyance in my voice over her cellular conversation. Not only that, but instead of charging me for a traditional baguette, she mistakenly charged me for bread.

Apparently, I came at a bad time for her due to her important conversation on social media.

Our parents and grandparents were absolutely right! We should go where there’s more people and if they are truckers, even better!

This story is a real life example that can be used in any store and the proof that shows why clients prefer one place to another.

Unfortunately for this supermarket, if they do not make a radical change, they won’t survive more than 6 or 12 months.

@Abastomedia: Supermercados, cómo obtener nuestra propia identidad, Julio Ibáñez.

2016-05-29_18-00-25

Luchar contra Walmart o contra el líder absoluto a nivel Nacional no es nuestra batalla. La verdadera batalla es atraer la atención de nuestros propios clientes. No debemos equivocarnos de adversario. Un cliente satisfecho es lo único que puede asegurar la supervivencia de nuestra Compañía.

Algunas cadenas de Supermercados y Retail en general tienen graves problemas de identidad. Piensan que hay que luchar contra las prácticas de Walmart o alinearse con sus estrategias, y realmente, cuando aplican esas operativas de “copy-paste” lo tienen todo perdido. No pueden luchar de frente con un competidor que mantiene unos costes de procesos espectacularmente inferiores a los nuestros, seamos realistas.

Como retailers, nuestro objetivo es atender la demanda de productos o servicios que nos solicitan los clientes al menor coste posible. No se tratará pues de inventar y crear nuevas necesidades de consumo, que para eso están otros, sino de poner a su disposición lo que demandan. Así que más que trabajar en luchar contra Walmart, lo que debemos hacer es analizar con detalle qué necesitan nuestros clientes y ponerlo a su disposición.

Por regla general, las cadenas de Supermercados líderes a nivel Nacional son las que mejor saben escuchar a sus clientes reales y potenciales. También es cierto que a muchos de sus clientes  no les convencen ni agradan sus políticas comerciales, pero es innegable que cuando se obtienen cuotas de mercado considerablemente elevadas en nuestras propias zonas de influencia, esto no está al alcance de cualquier Compañía, y ellos lo consiguen fácilmente.

Hay pocas cadenas que saben escuchar bien lo que le dicen sus clientes. Ya no basta con escuchar y tramitar por un conducto adecuado las sugerencias que dejaron al vendedor o a nuestros managers de tienda, sino que hay que adentrarse en el análisis de toda la información que nos dejan de rastro en su relación comercial con nuestra Compañía desde cualquier canal (online o físico). Segmentar este enorme volumen de datos, categorizar y establecer patrones de consumo, no está al alcance de todas las cadenas de Retail.

El futuro como retailers está en nuestras propias manos, en saber escuchar cada vez más detalladamente las demandas de nuestros clientes y ponerlas a su alcance. Quienes no se unan al hábito de escuchar con atención se quedarán fuera del mercado. Y para ello, deberemos adoptar estrategias de CRM (customer relationship management), trabajar en marketing relacional y acostumbrarnos a analizar muchos datos (Big Data). Los Departamentos de Marketing y Análisis de Datos de las cadenas de Retail, cobran cada día más presencia, ya no se trata solamente de preparar los “shoppers” negociados desde el área de compras para captar la atención de nuestros clientes.

Atender a nuestros clientes, desde cualquiera que sea el canal que utilicen para relacionarse con nuestras tiendas, con un hilo de comunicación continuo requiere de buenos sistemas de captación y análisis de datos, y para ello deberemos pilotar y gestionar el cambio cultural que  asegurará nuestra supervivencia en el mercado.

Para aumentar nuestros márgenes por operación así como también el número de clientes y prolongar su lealtad hacia nosotros,  no nos quedará más remedio que adentrarnos en la gestión de las relaciones con el mismo Customer Relationship Management (CRM). No consideremos el CRM sólo como un software de gestión, ya que supone mucho más, será un cambio cultural y estratégico en la gestión de la relación con nuestros clientes.

Julio Ibáñez

julio@julioibanez.net

Nuevo año, nuevos retos: innovar la tienda minorista (mi artículo de la Revista Abasto)

2016-01-24_22-03-07

Una vez pasada la campaña de Navidad, es hora de realizar los correspondientes balances entre ventas y productividad de nuestras tiendas para guardarlos y a realizar las mejoras oportunas de cara a la próxima campaña.

Debemos empezar con la nueva operativa de año nuevo y focalizarnos en seguir atrayendo a nuestros clientes de todo el año y sumar nuevos.

El Yucateco

Es muy importante sintonizar con ellos, así, sabemos que nuestras tiendas físicas son las mejores agencias de publicidad que podemos tener, por lo tanto, es de maxima importancia superarnos día a día en cuanto a trato y servicio a nuestros clientes.

No debemos tener miedo a lanzarnos a las ventas online.

Independientemente del sector minorista que gestionemos (alimentación, moda, electrodomésticos), y del tamaño de nuestra compañía, no debemos tener miedo a lanzarnos a las ventas online. Se trata de fortalecernos con todas las herramientas a nuestro alcance, creando nuevas oportunidades de negocio, y sin grandes inversiones, tratándose del canal online.

La explosión de las ventas en línea no viene sola, debemos apostar por una presencia real en la Red, ejecutándola en primera persona. Nuestro contacto con los clientes a través de redes sociales es vital y hay que reforzarlo a diario.

El sector minorista debe mantener una presencia online tanto como física.

Los nuevos consumidores son unos expertos y conocen a la perfección el canal online, de ahí la importancia en potenciarlo, pero obviamente, sin perder de vista nuestras tiendas físicas. Podemos facilitar a nuestros clientes una perfecta integración entre ambos canales, tanto físico como online, ya que, en muchas ocasiones, el cliente puede comprar en la web, y recoger en tienda. Recordemos que una de las ventajas de tener nuestros negocios online es que se encuentran disponible con un solo click, mientras en la tienda física necesitamos, dependiendo del producto, un vendedor especializado que muchas veces no es siempre el mismo, el mejor preparado o el que conoce la información que demanda el cliente. Una buena opción para contrarrestar esto en las tiendas físicas es instalar pantallas de acceso online en nuestros pasillos, donde el cliente puede consultar todas las características de los productos.

En cuanto al desarrollo de nuestra marca, ya sea una tienda o una cadena de tiendas, el principal objetivo para este año debe ser ‘echar raíces’ en la relación con nuestros clientes, debemos incitar que realicen sus compras periódicas con nosotros, manteniendo el contacto directo con la marca, a través de los planes de fidelización, ofertas y otros beneficios. Nuestra marca ha de ser capaz de crear la necesidad de compra por parte del cliente con nuestras tiendas.

En el negocio minorísta. aunque cada día surgen nuevas fórmulas para adaptar y actualizar nuestros negocios tradicionales, queda mucho por hacer e innovar, la clave es mantenernos despiertos a estas nuevas fórmulas y no escatimar en esfuerzos para poder estar constantemente actualizados y a la vanguardia de nuestros sectores.

New Year, New Goal: Updating the Retail Store (my Abasto Magazine article).

2016-01-24_22-03-07

Now that Christmas is over, it is time to strike the appropriate balance between sales and productivity to update our retail stores and make the necessary improvements for next season.

We must begin with initiatives for the New Year, focusing on attracting our customers all year. And as always, we must continue adding new ones.

Manzela peanuts

It is very important to be in tune with our customers, and our physical stores are the best advertising agencies that we have. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to outdo ourselves from one day to another as we improve our customer service and treatment.

We can’t be afraid of launching into online sales.

Regardless of the retail sector we manage (food, fashion, home appliances) and the size of our company, we can’t be afraid of launching into online sales. We venture into online sales specifically to fortify ourselves with all the tools at our disposal, creating new business opportunities without large investments.

The explosion of online sales does not happen by itself. We need to aim for a real presence on the Web, running it personally. Our contact with customers through social networks is vital and must be strengthened daily.

In the retail sector,  you must maintain both your online and physical presence.

The new consumers are experts and are perfectly familiar with the online channel, hence the importance encourage it, but obviously, without losing sight of our physical stores. We can provide our customers seamless integration between the two channels — both physical and online — since, in many cases, the customer can buy on the web and pick up the product in the store. Recall that one of the advantages of having our businesses online is that they are available with a single click. On the other hand, in the physical store we may need, depending on the product, a specialized vendor that is not always the same, for example, the one that is the best prepared or knows the information that the customer requires. A good option for countering this in physical stores is to install screens in our online access aisles, where customers can consult all the product features.

Regarding the development of our brand, whether it consists of a store or chain of stores, the main goal for this year should be to strenghten the relationships we havewith our customers. We must get them to shop with us regularly, maintaining direct contact with the brand — through loyalty plans, offers and other benefits. Our brand must be able to instil in the customer the need to buy in our stores.

Although new ways to adapt and update our traditional businesses emerge in retail every day, much remains to be done.. The key is to stay awake to these new formulas and spare no efforts in keeping updated, so that we can stand at the forefront of our sector.

8 Ways to Prepare Our Stores for Christmas (my ABASTO MAGAZINE article)

2015-12-02_12-19-10

The holiday season is now upon us: Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Christmas have officially arrived in our stores at full force. We need to prepare properly for these events, as we play a very important part of the annual turnover sales. Depending upon what kind of business we run — supermarkets, department stores or toy stores — we can assume that we are responsible for anywhere between 20% and 75% of the annual turnover.

If we think our customers will suddenly wake up one of these days and visit the first business they see, we are very much mistaken. The same goes for those who leave their holiday season’s campaign preparations until the last moment.

1. The Marketing Message

Penske Trucks

First, we must be clear in our marketing message. Our message must be fully synchronized with all our communication channels: social networks, website or store billboards. In this way, we have a clear business agenda and our messages are consistent.

2. Christmas Decorations and Showcases

One of the most important aspects of the business strategy for the Christmas season is the décor. The store ambiance must draw attention to our customers and fill them with a sense of excitement. The impact of the décor should gradually increase as we get closer to key holiday dates. Be sure to emphasize strategic elements such as lighting. Also, keep in mind that quantity is not quality, so only use decorative elements as needed. Of course, they must be of high quality, delivering a direct message to our customers.

3. Offers and Promotions

During the Christmas season, sales are entirely different from the rest of the year. For example, even our products and quantities are different because they are intended as gifts for others. Here are some guidelines to follow during the holiday season: promote low prices; create zones that are designated by price; always suggest the most “neutral” gift choice because it is difficult to know if “extreme” gifts will sell; and lastly, invest in quality paper and gift wraps.

4. Beyond the Price Tag: Influential Selling Factors

The factors that influence our customers to purchase products at one store instead of another, regardless of price, are: the customer’s shopping experience, store location and accessibility, customer service, post-sales services and the payment options.

5. Our Youngest Audience

Our children enjoy various holidays during this time of the year. They usually accompany their parents or relatives to make purchases. However, not all stores are designed with children in mind. By implementing just a few easy steps, we can improve the shopping experience for children: avoid placing products within the reach of children that may cause danger; use a more informal language for our “little customers” without talking down to them; keep customer bathrooms spotless; and take care when offering taste samples or candy to children – be sure to get permission from their parents first.

6. Background Music

The quality of our stores’ background music is another determining factor this Christmas season. The controlled use of background music will improve the Christmas environment and increase our sales. For example, many stores are limited to repeating the same music constantly. This practice can be uncomfortable for our customers. We can actually get creative, combining Christmas music with the musical styles we use in our businesses during the rest of the year. Remember, always create a style that evokes a feeling of peace, tranquility and rest.

7. Sensory Marketing: Utilizing Holiday Aromas

One of the greatest oversights in our stores which continues to be very important is olfactory marketing. We can actually influence our customers’ buying decisions through the aromas they pick up in the store environment.

8. The Technological Advantage

Finally, social networks are now an essential part of our businesses. They provide us with the advantage of interacting with our customers and finding out their demands and concerns first-hand. This Christmas season, social media will be fundamental so that our customers consult the feedback and shopping experience of other customers in the stores we manage.

Llegó la Navidad a nuestras tiendas (mi artículo en ABASTO MAGAZINE),

2015-12-02_12-19-10

Ya estamos en plena campaña de Navidad, Acción de Gracias y Black Friday en nuestras tiendas. Una adecuada preparación para estos eventos será clave, ya que nos jugamos una parte muy importante de la facturación anual en estas fechas. Dependiendo de qué clase de comercio gestionemos (supermercados, tiendas por departamento o jugueterías) puede suponer entre el 20% y el 75% de dicha facturación anual.

Si pensamos que de repente nuestros clientes se despertarán estos días y visitarán al primer comercio que vean, estaremos sumamente equivocados, lo mismo para los que dejen la preparación de esta campaña para el último momento.

1. El mensaje comercial

Manzela peanuts

Primero, debemos ser claros en nuestro mensaje comercial. Éste debe estar totalmente sincronizado con todos nuestros canales comunicativos: redes sociales, website o carteleras en la tienda. Así tendremos una propuesta comercial clara y nuestros mensajes serán coherentes.

2. Decoraciones y escaparates

Uno de los puntos importantes en la estrategia comercial de la campaña de Navidad es la decoración. Debe llamar la atención de nuestros clientes. La decoración debe irse añadiendo poco a poco, a medida que más nos acerquemos a las fechas claves. Debemos acentuar elementos estratégicos como la iluminación. Recuerden que cantidad no es calidad, por lo que se deben de emplear solamente los elementos decorativos necesarios. Eso sí, deben de ser de calidad y con un mensaje directo a nuestros clientes.

3. Ofertas y promociones para la Navidad

En la campaña de Navidad, las ventas son totalmente diferentes a las del resto del año, en cuanto a productos y cantidades y también porque gran parte de estos productos están destinados para regalar a otras personas. Algunos detalles que debemos de practicar en nuestros negocios son: potenciar el escalonado de precios bajos, crear zonas segmentadas por precios, aconsejar las opciones más neutrales ya que es difícil acertar con regalos “extremos” e invertir en papeles y envolturas de regalo de calidad.

4. Factores que influyen al cliente

Los factores que influyen para que nuestros clientes compren productos en un establecimiento u otro, independientemente del precio, son la experiencia de compra del cliente, la ubicación y accesibilidad a nuestras tiendas, nuestra atención al cliente, los servicios post-venta y las facilidades de pago que ofrezcamos.

5. Público infantil

En esta temporada, nuestros niños disfrutan de varios días de vacaciones y suelen acompañar a sus padres o familiares a realizar las compras. No todas las tiendas están diseñadas teniendo en cuenta a los niños, así que, con unos pocos detalles, la experiencia de compra en nuestras tiendas puede mejorar en este sentido: evitando colocación de elementos que puedan causar peligro, debemos utilizar un lenguaje más informal con nuestros “pequeños” clientes pero evitando tonos ridículos. Los baños de clientes tienen que estar extremadamente limpios y cuidados, también hemos de ser sumamente cuidadosos en casos de degustaciones o regalos de dulces a los niños, siempre pidiendo autorización a sus padres.

6. La música ambiente

La música ambiente de nuestras tiendas es otro factor determinante en esta campaña de Navidad. Su uso controlado mejorará la ambientación navideña y aumentará nuestras ventas. Muchas tiendas se limitan a repetir continuamente la misma música y esto puede resultar incómodo para nuestros clientes. Debemos crear innovación en este sentido, combinando música navideña al estilo de cada uno de nuestros negocios con la música del resto del año, siempre sugiriendo un estilo que nos indique paz, tranquilidad, descanso.

7. El marketing olfativo

Uno de los grandes olvidos en nuestras tiendas y que no deja de ser muy importante es el marketing olfativo, donde a través de los aromas que experimentan nuestros clientes, podemos influir en su decisión de compra.  Varios estudios muestran que el marketing olfativo es esencial para las tiendas durante la navidad.

8. Provecho tecnológico

Por último, cabe destacar que las redes sociales son ahora mismo una parte imprescindible en nuestros negocios. A través de las redes sociales, tenemos la ventaja de interactuar con nuestros clientes y saber de primera mano sus demandas e inquietudes. En esta campaña navideña las redes sociales serán clave para que nuestros clientes consulten cada feedback (retroalimentación) y experiencia de compra de otros clientes en las tiendas que gestionamos.