October 26, 2017

Retailers try new tactics to compete



Some key players in the retail industry are throwing out the rule book to stay ahead of the competition. Bold moves get consumers’ attention, and for these retailers, might just boost profits as well.


Take the new deal Kohl’s has struck to accept Amazon returns and implement small Amazon shops in their stores, starting with 10 stores in Chicago and Los Angeles. The company hopes being able to see and test Amazon products like the popular Echo, as well as return purchases, will increase foot traffic and bring a new group of potential shoppers to their stores. A 2017 JDA survey indicates they’re on the right track  70 percent of consumers surveyed said they prefer to return an online purchase to the store.


Embracing online competition instead of battling it is a tactic Albertsons has employed with its acquisition of Plated, a popular meal-kit delivery service. As part of the deal, Albertsons will offer Plated products in many of its stores. With 90 percent of meal-kit purchasers saying they would recommend their service to a friend, it’s clear that people love having their food prepped and delivered for easy assembly at home. By selling in Albertsons stores, Plated will be able to get its products into the hands of more shoppers, and Albertsons benefits by diversifying its offerings.


Acquisition of a complementary business was also a key move for IKEA in its purchase of Taskrabbit, a company that connects people who need a  handyman or in-home assembly services with freelancers who can help. As anyone who has assembled a piece of IKEA furniture can tell you, sometimes their wordless, illustration-only instructions can pose a challenge, especially for larger pieces. In working with Taskrabbit, IKEA hopes to make it easier for consumers to use the products they sell  and increase sales in the process.


2018 is quickly approaching. What new tactics will your company try in the new year? If a headline-grabbing partnership isn’t in your future, try looking internally for opportunities to make a change. Areas like currency management are often overlooked, but they offer you a chance to refine a process you already have to do  handle and manage your cash  and make your employees’ time more productive.


Start by looking at your currency management blind spots  areas that seem just fine because you’ve always handled them that way and they aren’t customer-facing. But giving them a second look and cleaning them up can save money by reducing costs. This infographic lays out the top three areas retailers often overlook.


No matter what strategies you plan for the coming year, it’s essential to take a good, hard look at areas you haven’t considered in a while to find opportunities to improve your business. Retailers like Kohl’s, Albertsons and IKEA are taking new approaches — and so should you.




Image: iStock