Skip to content
LS Retail | 03 January 2024

8 new year’s resolutions to kickstart your retail business

8 new year’s resolutions to kickstart your retail business

As we embark on a new year, it's time to break the cycle of forgotten resolutions and make a real difference in your business. Take a moment to reflect on your goals and create a roadmap to success. To help you along the way, here are eight resolutions that will make 2024 your most successful year yet in your retail stores. Are you ready to embrace the opportunity and achieve greatness?

1. Get control over your whole business

Do you spend hours every month trying to make sense of your numbers? Is your staff unable to see which products are available in your other store locations? Do your managers have no idea what is going on in their store if they happen to be travelling? If you answered “yes” to these questions, chances are you are still using separate software solutions to manage the various parts of your business – front office, back office, e-commerce, stock, and so on. And chances are, your customer service is suffering from this disconnect. This is the time for a change. Give yourself a well-deserved new year’s gift, and implement a unified retail software solution that covers your whole business, front to back. You will save time, tons of paperwork, and spare your customers slow, ineffective service.

2. Speed up the queues at the till

This is an easy one! Faster service at the register means more sales, happier customers and more time for your staff to spend on service. We have already discussed various ways to reduce queues at the tills. To find the right solution for your business, begin by analyzing the situation in your stores. Do long queues forms at peak times because there are too few cashiers available? Does your checkout system tend to get stuck or break down, slowing down the service? Pin-point the reason and find a solution. Your customers will thank you.

3. Boost and reward loyalty

It costs between 5 and 25 times more to acquire a new customer than to sell to an existing one. Investing in growing repeat visits definitely pays off for businesses! And the most popular way to encourage loyalty is thorough a rewards program. If well executed, a loyalty program can bring you twofold benefits: more returning customers – and a better understanding of your customer base. Loyalty programs collect a wealth of data – your customers’ age, gender, product preferences, preferred hours for shopping… – which you should collect and use to create targeted promotions and communication. Be careful, though, when designing your program: not all loyalty programs are as effective.

4. Play the game of social media

Social media are here to stay. If you’re not yet active on the platforms where your customers are, this is the time to get social. Before you start (or get serious about it), keep in mind these 5 key rules of social:

  • Be honest, friendly and approachable. Social media are not the place where you should sound distant or corporate.
  • Be constant. If you start a page on a social media platform, you can’t just post when you feel like it. Have a strategy behind, publish content that is relevant to your audience and your image, and post frequently.
  • Make it fun! Organize games, contests, sweepstakes. People look at your page in your spare time, to relax and have a laugh - make it worth it for them.
  • Keep the communication channels open. Many consumers take their comments and complaints to social media – and ignoring them isn’t a smart strategy. As a matter of fact, 50 percent of consumers say they boycott brands that ignore their complaints on social media, according to a recent survey by Sprout Social. Always reply to fans comments and questions!
  • Don’t be like them.

If you plan to get started with Instagram, we have some tips for you.

5. Focus on sustainability and eco-friendly practices

Consumers are increasingly prioritizing sustainability and environmentally friendly practices when making purchasing decisions. Research from Nielsen indicates that 73% of global consumers say they would change their consumption habits to reduce their environmental impact. Consider implementing eco-friendly initiatives such as reducing packaging waste, sourcing products ethically, and promoting sustainable practices. Communicate your commitment to sustainability transparently to resonate with environmentally conscious consumers, thereby attracting and retaining a growing segment of the market that values eco-friendly businesses.

6. Invest in your staff

Your staff is more crucial than ever to the success of your stores. Today, customers can find all the products they want at low prices online. When people visit physical stores, they do it for the experience. This means that retail employees – knowledgeable, friendly, helpful employees – are more important than ever. According to respondents to PwC’s Total Retail Survey, having knowledgeable sales associates should be the number one focus for retailers who want to improve the in-store experience! To build sales talent, start by concentrating on:

  • Engaging the staff in the brand and its ethos,
  • Providing employees with in-depth training throughout their career,
  • Equipping staff with in-store technology that helps them give customers the quick, smooth and exciting experiences they expect.

That’s not all – but it’s a good start.

7. Ask for reviews

People love giving their opinion – and they value other people’s opinions about businesses and products, too. According to BrightLocal, 97 percent of consumers read online reviews for local businesses – and 85 percent of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations! Online reviews might perhaps frighten you, worry you, or annoy you; but trust us, they are not going to go away in the new year. So you might as well embrace them! Here are three key rules to follow when it comes to reviews:

  • Encourage them. Create a dialogue with loyal customers and online communities of people who love your product, and prompt fans to leave a review.
  • Highlight them. Don’t hesitate to promote reviews that make you look good.
  • Respond. It’s important to thank customers who took the time to leave a review. What’s even more important is that you never ignore negative comments. Respond politely to unhappy customers, and make sure they feel heard. Just by the act of answering a complaint you may be able to keep a customer: in a study from Maritz and Evolve 24, 83 percent of people who had received a reply to a complaint considered themselves satisfied by the mere fact that they got a response – even when their problem had not been solved!

8. Implement AI-driven customer service and chatbots 

Enhancing customer service with AI-driven chatbots can streamline communication and support for customers. Research by Gartner indicates that by 2024, 48% of customer service engagements will be handled via virtual assistants like chatbots. Implementing chatbots powered by AI can provide 24/7 support, answer frequently asked questions, and assist with personalized product recommendations. This prioritization enhances the customer experience, offering instant responses and efficient solutions, ultimately driving customer satisfaction and loyalty.

In short: be ready for the unexpected

With the pace of change constantly increasing, who knows what new trends will explode next year, or what new technology will pop up and transform the way we shop. Be open to unexpected innovations and be ready to start novel collaborations. Whatever you do, just remember to always keep your customers at the center. Technology is expensive; make sure that every system you implement is the right one for your goals, and that it will bring you a positive return, whether in terms of traffic, basket size, or revenue. If you need help figuring out which type of technology would best help your business, don’t hesitate to contact our retail experts.  We at LS Retail wish you a happy and successful new year!

Here’s what you need to know about tomorrow’s retail
Featured eBook

Here’s what you need to know about tomorrow’s retail

Discover the 5 top emerging retail trends and the technologies you need to keep consumers loyal to your brand. Download our e-book to know the trends and build a successful strategy.
Download Today