Outlining the four W’s – What, When, Where, Who. A business needs effective retail planning strategies to control inventory, implement its marketing campaigns, and manage its supply chain precisely. It cannot be done without considering these W’s outlined at the start of this article.
Besides merchandise planning, brands should also define necessary steps and set clear goals to achieve them in target timings (per their market ventures). They are planning strategically to cover how marketing across different channels can maximize customer reach with optimized inventory management and internal workflows.
It’s well-said that a detailed plan is important to execute a strategy. Brands and retailers can start with the following six steps to determine how to plan and implement –
● Setting the goals right –
Brands need to keep both short and long-term goals. Setting benchmarks instead of general objectives can create improved product performances, revenues, and profit margins.
Brands can bifurcate it further into two to-be accomplished objectives-
Reports should be made to analyze practical sales based on product/service performances. Brands can make them monthly, quarterly, or annually to set and map out targets. This keeps the employees motivated.
These objectives go by the overall performance regarding customers and their experience. Customer service, product pricing, repeat purchase, retention, and loyalty all come in the bag. Moreover, a customized experience should be created to develop that ‘entice’ factor to make returns more fruitious.
● Market Analyzation –
With clearly defined brand objectives, the time is good to analyze the market. Market research can make you aware of competitors’ strengths, weaknesses, and consumer behavior. It helps in planning actions to fulfil consumer expectations and stand apart from the competition.
Market research also defies risks and opportunities when the brand is exposed, and the world needs it to respond. Through risk management and planning, brands can anticipate and neutralize upcoming threats. It can also include financial planning, resource allocation, and staffing.
● Customer Behaviour Analyzation –
Understanding customer behavior can help the brand to act right in launching and promoting its products/services in the market. What the customers want from the brand is a void that can be filled through innovative products/services.
Then comes demographic research, and it can help brands in creating products/services that are customized to the needs and expectations of their target audience. By monitoring it through parameters, brands should regularly update their data about it and not end up stagnant.
● Retail Strategies –
Post demographic research, marketing teams should be deployed in developing effective promotional strategies and campaigns that can aid in building the brand identity. The brand image should be positive and attractive so that customers can easily be hooked.
Another underlying objective of developing a retail strategy is to make and remain competitive. It can be achieved by product pricing, providing variety, and quality. Plus, the unique experience can make a significant advantage.
However, brands that don’t develop access to metrics and brand marketing strategies can face the consequences of current market trends.
● Plans (short/long term and implementation) –
Basing the brand’s goals (short and long term), the management needs to develop a stepwise plan to achieve desirables. To see a nutshell, running O2O (online to offline) campaigns, commercials, and exclusive deals/offers can attract customers to the brand.
These processes should begin months before the implementation unless a chaotic situation can be created. Fund allocation and supplement plans should be taken care of. Once all of it is perfectly synchronized, brands can start implementing it.
● Evaluation –
Post implementation, brands should monitor performance as per the insights received. The process of monitoring and evaluating helps identify the leaky buckets, errors, damages, etc. and they can be rectified to streamline future planning and implementations.
Retail business planning is, therefore, necessary to have a competitive advantage in the market amongst adversaries. Without it, brands can lack many crucial things to create a mark in the industry.