You are not your customer.
This is one of the best pieces of advice you can give a retailer, for too often, retailers stock their shops with what they like more than what customers may like. They tend this that shoppers will like what they like. Evidence tells us that shoppers like what they like more so than what the retailer likes. This is especially true in local high street retail.
Talking with a retailer about our POS software recently, they mentioned their success with a product category they had rejected for several years. That category is now delivering to their shop close to $50,000 a year in good margin revenue to the business. Better still, it is attracting a category of shopper not common to their business.
They mentioned it because they heard us say to another retailer you are not your customer. They made the point that it took them a while to realise the trust of this.
None of us in retail are our customers yet too often local small business retailers stock their shops with what they like, missing opportunities to give more local shoppers what they like.
Ranging new products is speculative, a risk. But, trying to attract new customers requires this type of risk taking, done carefully. This is where POS software data can play a vital role in understanding the opportunity.
The key is the POS data analysis of the performance of what you have taken on, to measure whether it stays or goes. If it is working, the opportunity could be to expand into allied niche areas, to grow the opportunity further.
Accepting that you don’t know what you don’t know can free you to trial products you have rejected in the past and, through that, uncover valuable opportunities for your business.
Our advice is to always have a modest inventory and space investment on the shop floor of new products that you would not usually carry. Let them show you if they work or not. More important is advice to rely on your POS software data, for this will provide better guidance as to what works best in a shop, it is the evidence.
You are not your customer. Test, play, experiment to find out what your customers love and through this experience more love from in and for your shop.