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Brick and Mortar Retail Business

Brick and Mortar Model / Strategy

Brick and mortar retail is thriving and accelerating past online stores, even in the modern digital era.  Research estimates show Amazon accounts for 5% of US retail sales, while multichannel accounts for another 5% of retail sales. This means physical stores account for a majority of the retail sales. Most retail sales captured by retailers have a physical presence.

Consumers prefer shopping in physical stores with immersive and interactive brand experiences, according to an AT Kearney survey.

 

Future of Brick & Mortar

The brick and mortar retail space are in constant flux. The future is hi-tech and digital, and brick and mortar retailers are increasingly adapting to this. Brick and mortar channels are facing an increasing load of challenges and silver bullet technologies along with customized retail strategies will shape the future of brick and mortar retailers.

Deep Discounting

Deep discounting is set to impact brick and mortar industry stalwarts, with some like Target, JCPenny, and Aldi which are global players joining in with competitive pricing schemes.  The e-commerce giant Amazon has even launched its own physical retail space besides acquiring brick and mortar players Whole Foods.

Role of Advancing Technologies

America’s top retail stores saw a net increase of 4000 new stores in 2017 and 5,500 stores in 2018 according to Cognizant. Estimates also suggest nearly 90% of sales still take place in brick and mortar stores. Tracking the Indian and Asian growth story, brick and mortar retailers are adopting advanced technologies to enhance in-store experiences.

Going Digital

Customers are digital and convenience or customization will now shape in-store experiences as well. The future of brick and mortar retail is bright.

Think convenience, contact, customization, and consistency.

The micro trip matters just like the shopping experience itself. Traditionally brick and mortar retailers were oriented towards long shopping trips. Micro trips lasting less than 5 minutes allow brick and mortar firms to benefit from efficient store formats and improved targeted marketing.

Digitization of in-store customer experiences is the recipe for winning customer loyalty. Cameras and sensors track purchases so customers don’t second guess the goods they buy. Complete convenience, customization, and consistency while curating customer journeys can help to better understand brick-and-mortar customers.

As customers continue to seek personal interaction and hands-on experiences while purchasing retail products, brick and mortar is an evergreen channel that will never go out of vogue.  Mediocre retail experiences are dead. Today, it’s about enhancing in-person experiences at your brick and mortar retail store.

How YRC Can Help?

Rethinking the traditional brick-and-mortar retail model is not needed. But employing cutting-edge innovation and banking on human capital growth strategies is imperative for B&M retailers to thrive. Your Retail Coach (YRC) offers the perfect customized retail growth strategies and retail management solutions to help your brick and mortar business. A retail management consultant with expertise, YRC is exceptional at facilitating growth. This retail consulting services provider is among the top retail consultant firms today because of this reason.

As brick and mortar retail embraces tech, it continues to transform. Opt for Your Retail Coach to tailor your customer experience and store environment to create a unique equation between your retail brand and your client.

 

 

B&M AS Primary Retail Channel

Brick and mortar is a primary retail channel. When retailers consider how to open a store, B&M still predominates. The future of retail lies in the traditional brick and mortar stores. Retailers worldwide are stepping up brick and mortar platforms and stepping into physical shopping or in-store opportunities. Along the way, technologies like machine learning and cloud not only enrich the customer’s cross-channel experience but dramatically improve operational execution or employee experience, too. Leaders like Walmart, Home Depot, Kroger, Gap, Kohl’s and traditional retailers recognize the in-store opportunities.

It’s not just the Amazon Go stores. China has top players like Alibaba’s Hema supermarkets, and JD.com’s connected stores as well as Ocado’s fully automated stores. Forging new partnerships is the key to meeting brick and mortar marketing challenges.

Boosting Operational Excellence:  Longstanding in-store business improvement opportunities enhance operational excellence. Stocks and merchandising execution are progressing thanks to video data, real-time updates on display, pricing, shelf, out of stocks and promotional execution. As price transparency becomes a competitive retail industry feature, more retailers are opting for the conventional brick and mortar route.

Enriched Customer Experiences: Online storefronts are now gaining traction among retailers because of the opportunity to enrich customer experience. Emerging technologies are now enabling insights for retailers in-store. It is easier to use increasingly sophisticated technologies to understand customer dwell times, purchase paths, conversion and shopper insights or engagements.

Prevent Losses: More and more retailers are moving ahead with brick and mortar retail. Use cases for streaming video are a game changer in key spheres like loss prevention, inventory management and improvement of in-store customer experiences. Thus, progressive technologies and standard operating procedures are streamlining brick-and-mortar operations and building on retail empowerment.

Covering Customer Journeys End to End: Progress has been made towards infusing every bit of the customer journey with convenience and accessibility. Retailers are moving towards offering easily accessible information to interact with knowledgeable customers. As the purchase process migrates online, brick and mortar stores are a way for customers to experience the product firsthand and this is the reason why retailers rely on this traditional brick and mortar channel.

 

B&M Brand Building

Building Brand Visibility

Brick and mortar are absolutely essential for visibility and brand building, too. Credible retail brands offer a chance for customers to interact with products. In-store technologies bridge the gap between hi-tech and conventional retail. For customers across ages and demographic differentiators, the focus is on an experience that boosts brand visibility.

Adopting New Technologies

Intuitive store layouts and new trends or technologies such as touchscreen kiosks and product availability tracking on smartphones help in making retail brick-and-mortar outlets the perfect unit for modern shoppers. Retailers like Wayfair even have feature-rich apps to layer products into a physical space.

Offering Customer Value

Offering value through in-store experience by using technology which allows retailers to meet customers where they are, brick and mortar retailers work on instant brand recognition and recall.

For thriving in the new retail equation, brands make in-store experiences experiential and engaging, integrating technologies that meet customers midway. Next generation technologies and top retail growth strategies from reputed retail consultancies like Your Retail Coach (YRC) are paving the way for enhanced visibility.

Meet Customer Expectations

Brick and mortar stores serve significant and in-demand roles for shoppers and retailers alike. Brand building is central to a physical storefront that meets customer expectations. Personalized shopping experiences and complete and easy product accessibility makes brick and mortar a great option for retailers looking to cement their brand.

Facilitate Experiential Retail

The rising demand for experiential retail is about creating an experience that draws customers in and offers them exceptional value online brands simply cannot compete with. Customized product interaction, assistance from trained sales reps or one-to-one connection with products and brands is the key. Customers are increasingly in space interacting and immersing themselves in a product or brand, permitting them to focus on a positive retail experience.

Create Immersive Retail Experiences

The retail experience for brick and mortar establishments is focused on intuitive, meaningful, personalized and immersive shopping. For creating a specialized in-store environment, leading brands are relying on Your Retail Coach to move towards customized storefront tailor-made to suit client expectations.

Enhancing New Services

Brick-and-mortar outlets are increasingly focused on moving past simple goods exchange and enhancing new and complementary services and products. Retailers are finding inventive ways to use retail space to create a unique experience within the store, retaining current customers, attracting shoppers and pushing brands forward.

Building a Relationship with Customers

Brick-and-mortar retailers are now partners in building a relationship with customers. For retailers with brick-and-mortar stores, it is more than just building a brand identity. Retailers can rely on reputed consultancies like Your Retail Coach to bring brand identity to life and think of the big picture, as well as facets of how the brand work together. Consistency in tying back to customer touch points sends a unified brand message. Customers come to trust the brand as in-store, and social media or email experiences build credibility.

Synergizing Across Retail Channels

Synergy across brick-and-mortar retail channels ensures brand identities resonate powerfully. This makes brands increasingly relatable. Documenting brand identity, empowering customers to move towards brand advocacy, encouraging cross-department communication, targeting audiences with attractive marketing messages, collateral and signage is the key.

Understanding Customers

Brick and mortar channels enable retailers to understand their customers and create an experience that fosters trust, credibility and a strong relationship. Focusing on the experience, not just the product, goes the distance in today’s marketplace.

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About Brick & Mortar

Even among digital Millennial shoppers, brick and mortar in retail is the preferred option, right from product discovery to clinching sales. Traditional retailers seek best sites for stores, optimal locations for markets and keep up with customer expectations of the in-store experience and building strategies. Brick and mortar retail market share are expanding, as retailers optimize physical store portfolios. Retail store setup is set to change with new omnichannel strategies at work.

Brick and mortar retailers help customers to discover new products and test items on offer online. Brick and mortar stores may capture sales, but also create value through each sales transaction. The value of the store for consumers and retailers is steadily growing. As consumer preferences evolve, the way retailers sell and offer value needs to shift as well.

Brick and mortar form the cornerstone of retail 2.0. Experiential shopping combines community with retail. Brands concentrating on brick and mortar have revitalized the industry through the adoption of new trends and the latest technologies. Barriers to entry are falling as retail industries are increasingly powered by human capital and new technologies. As brick and mortar retail fights back, it serves to complement the digital experience. Retail store Everlane developed in-store technologies to connect individuals to online profiles, so credit cards on file can be stored for payments later. Brands are also using physical stores to forge a sense of community. Walk-through or scan-and-go checkouts are on offer at leading brick and mortar retailers like Apple, Macy’s and Amazon Go. Nike even offers Scan-to-Try for smartphone shoppers in its flagship stores in NYC. Clearly, this is how brick and mortar retailers can win the omnichannel battle.

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We work only for Visionaries.

PROCESS AUTOMATION

The idea of having Ecommerce Consultants on-board from the beginning itself points towards reducing the involvement of the promoters in daily operations. Ecommerce Businesses willing to be a brand reaping profits & sustaining the competition must ensure that most of their processes should be automated. The more the manual intervention, the more would be the errors.

In Ecommerce business, you get only 1 chance to impress the customer & if you mess up there, you lose the customer for long.

Process automation in respect to all the activities pertaining to customers from order receiving to order fulfilment is a must for a seamless experience for the customers.

Task Management is another grey area where most deadlines fail as 90% of the tasks are assigned manually & are forgotten, unheard, misunderstood or mistaken.

YRC Team of Ecommerce Management Consultants helps to make maximum of the processes system-driven to ensure minimalistic manual intervention.

VIDEOGRAPHY & PHOTOGRAPHY

No matter how good your product is, the customer would know only if it looks good.

Photography includes the following steps:

  • Cataloguing your products
  • Cataloguing your images
  • Backup your images (A few cloud storage solutions include Dropbox, Google Drive, Bitcasa, Apple’s Cloud Storage etc.)
  • Choose the right camera & lens (You may also outsource the photography to a third party agency)

DIGITAL MARKETING

Digital Marketing includes SEO & SMM. SEO i.e. Search Engine Optimization includes activities like back-linking, meta tags, blog-writing etc. to ensure your website ranks on the 1st page on Google Search.

Next comes SMM i.e. “Social Media Marketing” which as the name suggests including promoting your products on all the social media sites, email marketing, influencer marketing & several other BTL activities.

These activities are going to be recurring & would decide the traffic on the website, the conversions, whether the right target market is tapped, the likes, the views, the orders, the reviews & much more. YRCs Ecommerce Consultants create a budget for digital marketing right from pre-launch to launch & for each month thereafter.

Building digital marketing strategies in coordination with the agency, selecting them to signing them off would be the role of YRC.

This ensures seamless coordination, detailed interactions & desired execution as it is always advisable to work with a single agency than multiple of them.

IT INTEGRATION

Selection of the right software for smooth functioning of back-end operations right from production to webstore display would be suggested and integrated by YRC Team.

YRC’s Team defines SOPs of Product Movement, maps it with the locations & people. They then create a blueprint of all the features required in the software & help in shortlisting & selection.

IT Integration involves connecting your offline inventories with real-time online webstore so when a sale occurs, inventories get deducted real time across offline as well as online platforms.

This helps in accurate inventory management, maintaining the MOQs, re-order levels & achieving the optimum inventory levels.

Some popular software include unicommerce, viniculum for your front-end website management & Genisys for your entire back-end Purchase, Production, Accounting, Invoicing etc. management.

WAREHOUSE & LOGISTICS PLANNING

  • How many cities or countries you wish to sell in?
  • Where should your Warehouse be located?
  • Should you have one warehouse in each country or city?
  • Should you be having your own delivery team in your base city?
  • Would the 3rd party vendors be reliable? What happens when they lose or misplace your product during delivery?
  • How should I manage the logistics if my goods are coming from different countries?
  • How should the goods be stored and barcoded?
  • How much space do I require for warehouse?
  • I am sure several such questions must be haunting you while you think of starting your own fashion ecommerce brand.

 

At YRC, our warehousing and logistics experts can help you devise a strategy for all of the above mentioned queries and much more.

We design the layout of the Warehouse considering the inward, goods processing, software entry, barcoding, outward, goods return, scrap storage, goods stacking & much more.

Logistics route plan is devised considering the manufacturer to your warehouse and from there to last mile delivery locations.

UI & UX DESIGNING

This Step involves 03 distinct parts:

Part 1: Choosing the right Platform:

From several platforms available in the market right from Shopify to magento, woocommerce, prestoshop, wordpress etc. you must choose the one that fits best for your business

Part 2: UX Designing:

“UX” denotes User Experience, which if put in simple language is building the functional requirements of the website.

UX Designing includes designing the features required in the website, customer journey map, website features, the browsing features, navigation features, ecommerce order management process flow, checkout cart features, catalogue management, ecommerce payment system, cross selling features & much more.

“As per statistics, 68% of the customers abandon the carts before payment”

An interesting UX ensures the customer sticks on to the website for a longer time.

Part 3: UI Designing:

UI stands for User Interface, which means designing the look and feel of the website. UI includes using the right colours, elements and the entire aesthetics of the website.

A good User Interface ensures the user completes the task that he has come for. It navigates the user through the journey of the brand in the simplest but most effective way.

The UX designer maps out the bare bones of the user journey; the UI designer then fills it in with visual and interactive elements.

If User experience is the bare bone, user interface wraps it up with an attractive cape.

At YRC, our team if experts can help you develop the entire User Journey to ensure it is engaging!

SAMPLING & PRODUCTION

This step follows the “Designing” Phase, whether you have an in-house design team, freelance designers or an outsourced design company. It is one of the most exciting phases, as here you see your designs turning into products & your ideas turning into reality.

In most start-up cases, production is outsourced i.e. brands tie-up with the established manufacturers/ job-workers to get their products manufactured.

Sampling involves multiple 04 Stages, Fit-Sample, Prototype Sample, Pre-Production Sample & the Production Sample.

Prototype Sample is the first sample provided to the buyer. It can be in any fabric/ colour. This sample is just to understand whether the product design looks equally great in reality.

Fit Sample, as the name suggests is prepared to check the fit of the garment i.e. the various sizes, length, width etc.

Pre-production is made by the actual production line. Here the stitching quality and other aspects related to manufacturing are checked. This is the last stage where rejection can be accepted.

Production Sample is made before the production which is the replica of what is going to be finally produced.

Once you are through with all this, you are good to go ahead & get your goods manufactured.

PRODUCT DESIGNING / SOURCING

Product Designing or Sourcing is the heart of the Ecommerce Fashion Brand.

Product Designing / Sourcing can be done in several ways, as follows:

  • In-house Design Team
  • Freelance Designers
  • Outsourced Design Team
  • Ready Product Sourcing (From Manufacturer or Wholesaler)

At YRC, we evaluate your business strategy & business model to arrive at the decision, which of the above ways would be best-fit for your business. In certain cases, product sourcing may be a combination of the above.

These are the people who are going to build your brand! Whether they are the designers or merchandiser, your brand look is going to be in their hands.

If you are designing each garment from the scratch, the sourcing would play crucial role in developing design identity of your brand.

Sourcing includes fabric, trims, lining & all the raw material required to build the garment.

BRANDING

Branding is the “Look of the Brand”, right from logo to tagline, the colours used, the brand story, the brand communications on social media, the packaging & all the other aspects which speak directly or indirectly to the customers. Branding constitutes the look & feel of the brand & hence must be thoughtfully planned to match with the product that we are selling.

Branding must appeal to our target audience. Example : A golden colour logo depicting finesse, art, richness, premium, however beautiful it may be individually cannot go with a brand selling affordable kids wear products. So, your logo must be in-line with your brand positioning, whether you are an expensive brand or a luxury brand or a value for money brand, it must be depicted from your “Branding”.

It is an integral part to attract the target audience.

ORGANOGRAMS & SOP’s

Organogram is the “HR Blueprint” of the business which is created at the onset, to map out the team required across each function at various stages of the business. At the launch, only key people need to be got on board to ensure the project gets started & at this stage, all of them need to multi-task. Similarly, certain financial as well as operational goals are set for addition of the further team. Example, for the operations team, we hire 1 operations manager during the pre-launch phase & we add 1 more only when the business kicks-off & we reach a volume of selling more than 1000 pcs/ month or a turnover of more than 0.1 million USD.

SOPs are Standard Operating Procedures, a bible to run the entire organization right from Sales, Purchase, HR, Order receiving to Order fulfilment, Inventory Management, Accounts, Warehouse, Logistics, Supply Chain, Production & all the other relevant functions for the business. Business must be organized from its first day of operations; only then the tasks can be delegated.

At YRC, we design the organization structure, the processes, and approximate time taken to execute each process, job profile of every member within the organization, their KRAs, KPIs & the Reporting Structure.

CRITICAL PATHWAY

Critical Pathway Analysis (CPA), is a project management technique which cannot be overlooked while launching an ecommerce fashion brand. Brand launch process is cumbersome with multiple inter-dependent & time-bound tasks involved, which need to be tracked to ensure the project remains on track.

CPA outlines key tasks across the project, their turnaround time (TAT) & the dependencies of tasks upon each other. It identifies the sequence of tasks, their interdependent steps from inception to completion, their criticalities, and their dates of onset, target dates of completion along with the key responsible person for the respective activities. Critical Pathway helps in understanding the unimportant & not urgent tasks which may jeopardize the execution of the project because of an unexpected snag! It also maps out the potential bottlenecks which might be posed because of the dependencies of tasks upon each other & cases where the next task cannot be commenced before the completion of the previous one.

CPA detects the minimum & the maximum time involvement of a particular individual or team to execute the task, thereby arriving at the overall deadlines associated with the project.

At Your Retail Coach, we design the Critical Pathway & review it periodically to ensure the project is on track & the progress is measurable.

BUSINESS STRATEGY & BUSINESS PLAN

Business Strategy includes the vision, mission, goals, business model, business plan & strategy for all the functions within the organization.

Business Strategy is a well-defined plan that outlines who, what, where, why, how & when for the company; for example, who would be the target market, how to attract the target audience, when to launch new products, where to operate from, how to handle competitors, what would be the USP, what would be long term goal of the organization & several other answers to the 5Ws of Strategy.

Business Strategy aligns the organization towards a common goal. Business SWOT helps company to identify & overcome their weaknesses & focus to sharpen the strengths. Business strategy forecasts future risks and helps business in building skillsets to overcome the potential threats.

YRC’s Business Plan focuses on creating a “Blueprint” of the business, thereby deriving the feasibility of the concept & gauge whether the opportunity is lucrative to invest time, energy & effort. Business Plan creates cash flow understanding i.e. building inflow & outflow cash projections from Week zero to week 60 i.e. 05 year projection. Business Plan calculates the capital investment, operating costs, one-time costs, recurring costs & all the other numbers relevant to obtain the breakeven sales, return on investment, return on capital, internal rate of return & several other ratios. Business Plan is also one of the important requirements if you are targeting the “Investor Route”. Fund raising becomes extremely transparent & channelized. With business plan panned out clearly, the business will know until what point must it be stretched & where to stop, which reduces the probability of unplanned investments.

MARKET RESEARCH

Starting the concept of Ecommerce Fashion brand with Market Research ensures we get detailed understanding of the industry & this research report also acts as a social confirmation for your concept. Market Research helps in understanding the target locations, their population, potential online buyers for your product, competitors for each category, and top selling products of the competitors, competitors’ price range, offers & their responses & much more. Market Research helps in thorough understanding of your brand position as compared to our competitors. It helps in identifying gaps in the market, in your category along with the scope of the said product in the desired market. This will help in validation of your concept & prevents you from making the same mistakes as your fellow brands, eventually saving your time, energy & efforts. This phase is also a make or a break phase, as the market research study may at-times come up with some eye-popping numbers & statistics which might compel you to re-think on your product or category that you are planning to sell or alter your entire concept itself!! Market Research Reports analyse the competitors’ webstore for their traffic, conversion & sales. This is extremely valuable information to derive our inventory budgets & projections, which takes us to our next phase.