Revel Blog

Market Trends: Think Beyond the Storefront of Your Retail Store

Sydney Kida | June 2, 2023 |

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Market Trends: Think Beyond the Storefront of Your Retail Store

Allow me to amend Benjamin Franklin’s assertion that death and taxes are life’s lone certainties. What he’s missing in that statement is change, which is also an undeniable reality. 

For the sake of this blog post, we’ll focus on change in the retail sector, specifically within U.S. retail stores in the modern era. Technology continues to accelerate the rate of change within the space, and there are some compelling new ways retail stores can explore expanding the physical footprint of their commercial spaces. 

Retail at the Turn of the 20th Century

In 1883 James Ritter was credited with the first cash register, and by the 1900s department stores had long been fixtures in the retail sector. With credit cards supplanting cash as king in the 1920s, updates in payment methods and technology started to quickly reshape the retail world. 

Fast forward to today. The omni-channel retailer is now commonplace, supporting sales channels like e-commerce and offering mobile payments in addition to physical credit and debit cards. 

Our digital world has eliminated many of the limitations of a physical storefront and opened new possibilities for merchandising in retail. Are you taking advantage of the opportunity?

Virtually Add to Your Commercial Space with an E-Commerce Store

Let’s start with the e-commerce store, an advent widely popularized by retail giant Amazon. Thanks to the Internet, you can now reach potential customers all over the world. Of course, there are some challenges to this, especially if you don’t have an Amazon-sized budget. 

Even with the challenges that come with budget and logistics, if you’re not already offering online shopping options for your retail store, you could be missing out on major profit possibilities. 

Online orders and delivery comprise half of the total sales for Revel client Insomnia Cookies, a brand famous for stores with small physical footprints. In 2022 Insomnia stores had an average unit volume of $850,000. That’s big money for small stores. 

So, if you’re not already selling online, consider e-commerce as an avenue to sell more product from less space. 

Tap Into New Avenues for General Merchandise Displays with Social Media

Just as an e-commerce store helps expand your “walls” for retail transactions, social media offers you new opportunities for merchandising and promotion. This channel helps you reach more people and it allows you to do so at a very low cost. 

There are a couple factors to consider about the nature of social media in order to use it successfully for your retail store. First, remember that social media is increasingly visual. In the same way you would inspire consumers with an in-store display or a merchandised window, social media allows you to curate visuals of your products and services. If what you’re selling looks appealing, it is more likely to attract shoppers and may encourage viewers to share your content with their personal networks—digital word of mouth advertising! 

Second, social media should be social. You’ll want to find the right balance of your brand voice and conversational language that keeps your profiles feeling human and authentic. 

Generally it helps to be consistent with your approach to posting social content. Consider when your target audience is online, and post accordingly. Make sure you have clear guidelines for how often you plan to post and what a reasonable response rate looks like when it comes to replying to inbound questions and comments. 

Finally, keep in mind that your content should have a goal: to drive traffic to your business. Highlight new and existing physical locations on your profiles, promote sales and specials, and if you have an e-commerce presence, link to it in your post content. You’ll want to make it easy for your customers to find you and purchase from your brand. 

Consider Your Whole Tech Stack to Streamline Business and View Key Performance Data

Today’s commercial reality is omni-channel. Consumers expect to find and engage with their favorite brands in a variety of ways, both in-person and digitally. 

Especially if you’re taking advantage of an omni-channel retail strategy, you’re also going to want a single, centralized platform that connects all of the channels to one place where you can view performance and uncover business-critical insights. Enter the modern point of sale (POS) platform. The right POS will allow you to connect the many channels you leverage for your retail stores. 

While we’re on the subject, here are a few key features to watch for in a modern point of sale: 

  • Cloud infrastructure
  • Open API for easy integrations
  • Agile technology that can adjust with the market
  • Responsive (and readily available) support
  • Scalability for your future growth
  • As much system uptime as possible
  • Flexible options for payment processing

This is the part where I admit bias—Revel Systems® offers all of these features and more. If you’re curious to explore our platform’s solutions and functionality, check out our website for details. 

If you’d really like to take a deep dive into Revel’s offerings, request a free demo and one of our product experts will be happy to answer your specific questions. 

Not matter the point of sale you use (or decide to use moving forward), I’ll call back to the beginning of this blog post: change is a constant for retail. The rate of change show no signs of slowing down any time soon, so make sure you’re considering how omni-channel retail can position you to stay flexible in our ever-altering environment.