In this article, you will learn about the steps involves in the retail planning process. In the retail planning process, a retailer decides about the planning strategies of the retail business, learn about the competition in the market, and create and implement strategies accordingly.
Retail planning is crucial for every retail business. Otherwise, you will always find yourself to dilemma while making decisions for your store.
7 Steps involved in Retail Planning Process
#1 Set objectives
Setting Objectives is important for the success of the business. It is not necessary that the goal of a business is to maximize sales. An organization can pursue multiple goals at the same for example, expansion of business in a year, revenue generation, and more product lines, etc. it is apparent that all goals mentioned above are focused on multiplying sales.
Broadly the objective of an organization can be divided into two categories:
#1.1 External Objectives:
The external objectives of an organization include the performance of the organization in an external environment focused on customers.
Such as providing customer satisfaction and increasing their loyalty for the products, selling quality products at lower prices, providing better customer service, etc.
#1.2 Internal Objectives:
On the other hand, internal objectives consist of sales goals, revenue generation, maximizing the sales using existing resources, etc.
Both objectives are important for an organization. But only clear objectives can be easy to achieve, and planning can be done accordingly to attain these objectives. Therefore, it is important for a retailer to set annual objectives to ensure success and to measure it.
#2 Analysis of the market
After the objective for the organization is defined. The next step is to analyze the situation of the market you are planning to enter.
The analysis can help you to make an effective decision. you can learn about the competitors’ strategies and plan your strategies accordingly, what are the expectations of your customers and how you can fulfill them, how you can stay ahead in competition in the market, etc.
The analysis can help you to learn about the threats and opportunities in the market and what actions you should take. In addition to this, analysis can help you to learn about the strengths and weaknesses of your own business.
In this way, you can work on to strengthen your strengths and work on your weaknesses to turn them into your strengths. You can make decisions about how you can use your resources such as financial resources, human resources, intangible and physical resources, etc.
#3 Analysis of Customers
Analysis of customers is the most important activity of the retail planning process. You can’t simply like a product, design it and throw in the market and expect customers to buy it and like it.
By analyzing the customers, you need that what are the expectations and requirements of customers and you select a segment of potential customers who are most likely to buy your products. You can plan your business strategies better if you know your customers.
You can optimize your marketing mix to satisfy your customers. Customers analysis helps the organization to innovate and create services to satisfy its customers and retain them for a long period.
Hence, you avoid the chances of getting out of fashion as you keep updating your strategies with the changing demands and requirements of customers.
#4 Frame Retail Strategies
After you have decided key objectives and learned about the market situation and customers’ requirement, next, you should prepare your retail strategy for marketing positioning and retail mix.
The market strategies should be prepared based on kind of products sold in your store or the segmentation of the market you are dealing with.
The meaning of retail mix is to have the balanced amalgamation of retail activities, and the meaning of retail positioning is the strategy of the retailer to enter the target market and establish his business to compete with the competitors.
It is important to pay attention to these processes to grab the attention of your potential customers and make establish a positive image of your retail business.
You need to prepare effective retail strategies to stay ahead in the game of retailing. Work on various elements such as the location of the store, pricing policy, merchandise assortment, advertisement, customer service, etc. for example, you can attract customers by offering good quality of products at lower prices than your competitors or central location of the store can be a key element to attract more customers.
#5 Strategic Short-term Planning
In the next step, the retailer must think and plan about the short-term plans to grow your business. For example, you can attract more customers in your store during the festive season by using tactic advertising and marketing strategies.
You can run a short-term TV advertisement or can circulate advertising pamphlets in the local market. Strategic short-term plans are important for boosting sales instantly. Therefore, you should start planning short-term plans before the beginning of the festive season.
Your planning should be as per the requirement of the event. For example, an advertisement plan for valentine’s day can’t be the same as the advertisement plan for Christmas.
#6 Implementation of the Strategies
Once you have decided strategies, the final step is to implement those strategies and control them. In this step, you will also check whether your strategies are working or not and how much they have helped in boosting the sales.
Implementing strategies is not easy, it requires thorough planning, and you need to make changes in the store, and you may also need to change the role of your employees.
You might face some reluctance from your employees but if you plan smartly. You can divide the work among your employees in such a way so that they don’t feel burdened. In addition to this, you can also give them a bonus if their work pays off.
#7 Analyzing the performance of the strategies
Your job does not end with the implementation of strategies. You should analyze its performance and see where did you face most difficulties and what kind of issues did you face. Learn about them and take your lessons and implement them in your future strategy planning.
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