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5 Retail Lessons for You to Learn in E-Commerce Age

In 2011, fashion industry expert, Rachel Shechtman entered the retail arena. Story; a 2000 square foot shop that got a complete makeover and served as an antidote to the traditional store experience.

Five year down the lane and Story became one of the most interesting studies on how people want to do shopping today. Story has a refreshing merchandising strategy that involved the rotation of sponsors and themes that helped the store stand apart from the other retailers in the sea who are struggling to understand the need of consumers in the rapid era of ecommerce businesses.

Here are some lessons that Rachel wants to share with other retailers that comes through her award winning retail store.

Consumer experience is everything

Retailers are required to produce lasting experiences for their customers in order to compete with the growing competition. Time is a luxury these days, and if you want people to come to your store and spend their luxurious item, you need to provide them a reason to do so. Every retailer need to come up with unique ways to create a connection with its customers. Once done, this connection takes the business a long way by holding on to the customer firmly.

Build a community

Communities are an essential element of today’s marketing strategies. With the advent of online shopping, community building has become imperative so that online customers could be reached to and then networked with so that they start receiving essential messages from the retailers.

Companies are required to build user communities, so that each time a retailer launches a new product, it could be communicated to the world along with its features. This also builds up a brand's credibility and increases consumer visits to the store. Ecommerce website development is another form of community building that can be done with minimal resources and leverages increased user interaction to a seller.

Calculate your risks

Every retail model has a significant place allocated to the risk factor that is involved in the business venture. Taking risks is about knowing what you do well, along with keeping confidence on you. For Rachel, Story was a risk, which she knew she would take over because she has that knowledge and skill to outperform others in the retail industry.

Taking risks is also a thing of research. The well-researched your business plan be, the less risk you are going to encounter as you move further.

Don’t be afraid to partner

Retail chain owners should not be afraid to partner with other ventures. In case of Story, many partners according to Rachel are unlikely ones. Once Story partnered with the health insurance provider Cigna which resulted in yoga classes and lectures along with letting customers try out the new technology of virtual reality meditation that helped in exploring health related merchandise.

Reward employees

After working with many Fortune 500 companies, both through Story partnerships and her former consulting practice, Rachel questions whether organizations are rewarding the right people — or enough people — when sales are on the up.

“Why should the creative team not be held accountable for sales and the buyer should?” she asks. “As an industry, we need to look at internal processes that further invite cross-divisional collaboration, learning and innovation, in the same way we are reinventing customer experiences.”

“Look at how buyers are rewarded based on sell-through but not necessarily through collaboration with marketing,” she continues. “Reinventing compensation and how people are rewarded has an opportunity to shift. Marketers need to become merchandisers more and merchandisers need to become marketers more. Historically and traditionally, there are not those opportunities.”