How to Grow Your Retail Business

retail business

These are interesting times. Starting a retail business has never been simpler; all you need is an idea, a product and an online storefront. E-commerce has effectively lowered the barrier to entry for a rush of hungry entrepreneurs.

But growing a retail business? That’s another matter entirely. Because e-commerce has levelled the playing field for new businesses to sell various products (white-label, private label, etc.), expanding a retail business requires overcoming stiff competition. The same goes for brick-and-mortar retailers, who find themselves in the unenviable position of competing against physical and digital storefronts. A retail consulting company like would be able to help identify areas to start improvement.      

Still, it’s possible to expand your retail store. Below, let’s explore how to grow your business by using retail data science, adopting a global mindset, shoring up your logistics and fulfillment solutions and crafting an omnichannel user experience.

Think Globally

At its most basic, growth requires expansion – expansion into new markets, new countries, and among new customers. It seems obvious, right?

But expanding into foreign markets requires research, scoping, preparation, and a renewed focus on shipping and logistics. In the sections below, we’ll cover how a creative logistics plan and strategic partnerships can aid in the foreign expansion process, but let’s tackle some first steps.

You can start by researching and calculating product demand (using competitor analysis tools, SEO tools and Google Trends) to determine where you should expand. Next, outline the scope of your expansion so you can create a workable roadmap toward your business goals. Price your products according to local competitors and local conventions (i.e., avoid the number “4” in China). Finally, prepare a customer service plan that addresses international customers.

Solve the Last-Mile Problem with a Smart Partnership

Whether you plan to grow locally, nationally or globally, you’ll need to address “the last-mile problem.”

A critical competitive differentiator in modern retail is how quickly you can get your product to a consumer. Customers have come to expect on-demand, same-day delivery. The “problem” is that this last leg of the supply chain process is often the most costly and time-consuming.

Therefore, one of the best pieces of advice for how to grow your business is to forge a partnership that deals with the last-mile problem. Look for a global network of micro-fulfillment centres, like REEF, that can position your product close to consumers. By situating your fulfillment solutions in dense, urban areas, you can turn a last-mile problem into a last-block solution, leveraging faster delivery – 30 minutes in some cases. Plus, you can advertise your products in their digital storefront, reaching a host of potential new customers.

Create an Intuitive, Omnichannel UX

Seamless user experience across channels is at the heart of contemporary retail growth. As McKinsey points out, while omnichannel used to be “the bleeding edge of retail,” it is now “a requirement for survival,” as most young consumers value seamlessness over traditional channel boundaries.

Creating an intuitive, omnichannel UX requires mapping the customer journey across your physical, web, social and mobile presences.You need to deliver cohesive, cross-channel touchpoints. If you aren’t sure what proactive steps to take toward the omnichannel experience, don’t worry; it takes some time to understand. To start, read through this list of omnichannel experience examples, which also includes advice for building an omnichannel marketing campaign.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.