The retail sector has always been cut-throat but with a tough economy and an uncertain future, for the independent retailer on the high street, life may never have seemed so challenging. Sure, you might have a great product and you might be fairly priced but these days, that is not enough to stay ahead of the curve. We take a look at some additional measures retailers in all sectors of the industry can take to get ahead of the competition. Get to know your customers Arm your sales assistants with the tools they need to get to know the customer. First and foremost, your sales team should abide by the simple principle of being welcoming and attentive. As one shop owner put it: “Be grateful for every customer who comes your way, it is your privilege to serve them.” Great and continuous staff training and consistent messaging is key to achieving this aim. By providing your staff with the means of collecting data, you are instantly giving them access to more information about customers. Pursuit Software’s SmartMPos system allows staff to look at previous purchases, recognise shopping trends and advise customers on their purchases effectively and knowledgeably. Know your competitors Just as you need to know your customers, so you need to get to know your competitors, both locally, nationally, (possibly internationally) and online. Look at how competitors position themselves in the market; take note of their campaigns and analyse the effectiveness of the campaigns; explore their social media presence and see how they communicate with customers. By knowing how your competitor is approaching the market, you will be able to devise your own marketing strategy accordingly. The answer however, is not to copy your competitors, but look at ways you can improve your own existing offer and find a unique selling point (USP) that sets you apart from the rest. Invest in SmartMPos software Well we would say that, wouldn’t we? But it is true. A good Point of Sale (POS) system will streamline the selling process both in store and online. A good experience for the customer will keep them coming back – that is what SmartMPos offers. A POS system doesn’t just improve things for the customer, it helps you improve your staff performance significantly. You can set up user permissions so staff have easy access to data they need and you can monitor staff performance so that you can make best use of each member of staff’s strengths. Create an in store event This is a great way to differentiate you from your competitors and create awareness of your products. An in-store event can attract more sales and more leads and can be targeted at the customers you want to attract. Before jumping on board though, you should spend some time planning the type of event as well as the timing. When it comes to the type of the event, take your customers into consideration and plan activities that would resonate the most with your target audience, ideal customers, and existing customers. When it comes to timing you may consider tying the event to a season or an event. think things through carefully, you do not want your event to be too close to the holidays when everyone is going away. Offer value Value is not simply about the best price or the highest quality. Value is also found in the entire shopping experience. Your staff are vital to this. Through on-going training all staff should be aware of your company values and every dealing with the customer should reflect that. A more prosaic method of offering value is to create a coupon or a promotional offer that you can mail out to your existing customers. Gathering customer information through your SmartMPOS system or your website will help get the needed information. There are just five ways that you can stay ahead of the competition. Get in contact to discuss ways that Pursuit Software can help you and your company create a USP and be one step ahead.