What will retail look like in 2021? You’ve probably been asking yourself this question a lot lately, and for a good reason. For many retailers in the United States, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed how many of us conduct our business.
There are, however, a few questions you can confidently answer as you strategically approach 2021 that will prepare you for a year full of retailing success. No matter what industry you serve, these questions will help you evaluate how you’re doing as a small business and guide decisions to improve your business in 2021.
1. How are my employees doing?
This is crucial. Neglecting your employees' well-being is easy to do but can have a major impact on your business. Employees are your most valuable assets. As you are aware, they are the front-line to your customers. If you find that your customer satisfaction rating is slipping through the cracks, the first thing you should assess is your employee’s performance.
It can be something as simple as sending out an anonymous survey or setting up individual meetings with each one of your staff members to gain feedback and understand how they feel about their work environment and gain insight into any improvements that can be made. No matter how you go about it, taking the time to listen to your employees can really benefit your business.
Recommended article: 6 Effective Ways to Motivate Employees
2. Are my customers happy?
Like your employees, you must understand how your customers feel about your business to improve and effectively make changes. The more knowledge you have about your customers and the community you’re serving, the better off your business will be.
Whether it’s directly asking them how they have enjoyed their shopping experience or sending them a survey via email, you should always be looking for ways to improve your product selection, customer service, and atmosphere. All of these things will show customers you care. Sometimes the smallest, simplest changes to your store based on customer feedback can make the biggest difference to your bottom line.
3. Did I meet last year’s goals?
Setting goals is beneficial for many reasons — it provides direction, clarity, motivation and makes the future appear less frightening. Evaluating whether or not you met last year’s goals can help you decide what needs to be accomplished in the new year. If you set team goals, it may be useful to discuss them together, as goal setting can boost employee morale. After doing so, establish new, tangible objectives that the team can work towards.
Struggling to come up with new goals? You’re not alone. Check out these 19 small business goals you can set in 2021.
4. How can I improve for next year?
The physical retail market is rapidly changing, and the coronavirus outbreak has forced many retailers to adapt their business model quickly. As the push to create in-store experiences integrated with advanced technology becomes more prevalent, retailers need to remain agile to adapt to unfamiliar changes resulting in increased profits.
Most likely, your main objective will be to bring in new customers and maintain customer loyalty. The question now becomes, how do you achieve this? Everything from brainstorming creative marketing ideas with your sales team to making updates to your store fixtures or layout can help you meet your goals — be sure everything you do aligns with your overall business strategy.
After answering these four questions, you will be ready to tackle the new year. Change isn’t always easy, but don’t be afraid to make necessary improvements to your retail business that you know you and your team will benefit from. If you’re unsure where to start, contact one of our Store Design Specialists, and we’ll point you in the right direction. Here’s to a happy, successful 2021!