As a retailer, you know better than anyone else how challenging it is to run a successful retail business. There are so many simple and complex tasks you have to complete, such as hiring and training staff, managing inventories, marketing your products, and so on.
However, there are a few helpful tips and advice that will help every retailer to successfully manage their businesses.
With these helpful product management tips, you will find that running your retail business will be a lot easier for you.
Product Management Tips And Advice To Ensure Retail Business Success
Product management is an essential part of any business organization that deals with the development of new products, and marketing the products, among other things. A product manager helps gear an organization towards success by developing competitive products and distributing them to promote sales.
As for retailing, product management deals with everything that concerns how a retailer generates revenue. This includes, but is not limited to, product vision, release plan, promotion strategy, product support.
Here are five helpful tips every retailer should know to ensure success:
1. Define Your Business Goal
Define what success is to your business right from the start to make sure everyone is working towards the set goals. Without organizational goals, different members of the organization may work towards other objectives that do not align with the organization’s goals.
Defining your business goals makes it easy for you to develop metrics for checking your performances and improvement plans when needed. Do this at every level.
2. Product Codes
For any business to be successful, the business needs organization and efficiency – Product Codes helps with those two things. Product coding is simply a way of identifying and differentiating specific products with a distinctive sequence of numbers.
These codes help retailers to track their sales, see how each product is performing, and manage their inventory better, and you can read more here. We will also talk about them briefly in this section, so you can understand the differences between them.
- Global Trade Identification Number (GTIN): This is an international code, and it manages different product references around the world. It is a 13 digits code. These codes come in different versions of the codes based on the types of products being sold and the country where the sale is happening. For example, UPC, EAN, ASIN, JAN. When it comes to the retail e-commerce business, product codes play a vital role in determining success. In May 2016, Google Shopping decided to make GTIN codes essential which gave products with GTIN codes 40% higher CTR and resulted in 20% more sales.
- Universal Product Code (UPC): this code is universal and can be used by every retailer for identifying a specific item. It is a 12 digit code and is commonly used in the UK, US, Australia, Canada, and other countries. A UPC can be used in every product category, electronics, food, or clotting, etc. To get a UPC for your products, register with GS1 and get your company code. The code will make it easy to identify you as the seller of your products by prefixing the code to all of your products.
- European Article Number (EAN): this is a 13 digits code for Europe. Any UPC can simply be converted to an EAN by adding zero to the front of the UPC. Just like UPC, EAN also helps to distinguish products based on the following details: Product types, price, weight or color, manufacture, country code, and other product-based data.
- Japan Article Number (JAN): Japan article number follows a similar standard as EAN. Jan starts with different numbers from the EAN, as JAN starts with the Japanese country code. Jan is more authorized on the global level than EAN, and it is unique.
- Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN): the ASIN is Amazon’s unique number for identifying its products. ASIN is a ten digits code for product identification within Amazon. Having an ASIN will give your products more face in the marketplace and make them easier to find by shoppers.
3. Do Not Make Concessions
One common mistake retailers make to give in to external forces. There are so many things retailers do that would mean capitulating to outside forces. As a retailer, you may want to add a feature to your SaaS that only favors one customer, or you modify a design to satisfy a project sponsor, or you reduce your success metric because of one underperforming team. Just don’t do that.
It is not always easy to say no to an important client or a “VP,” but these concessions or compromises will continually plague your products. It is important to eliminate them from your business to maximize success in your retail business.
You can rely on these tips instead:
- Stick to testing the ideas: work with a simple A/B test or user study to validate or invalidate new ideas instead of just going with it because one VP wants it. You will find out if it was a good idea but only needs to be refined, or it is completely a bad idea.
- Address team problems: when you notice poor performance from any of your teams in your retail business. Look into your QA automation, UX, engineering, and so on.
4. Sort Your Assumptions And Eliminate The Risky Ones
In business, people make assumptions. But putting out a product exactly as you conceived it could end as a failed attempt. As a retailer, you must be cognizant of these assumptions, run different test programs to eliminate the riskiest ones. Try doing user tests, landing page tests, and several other important testings to determine the best course of action for your retail business.
5. Have Clear Structures
For every business, so many issues need to be attended to, e.g., how to communicate with new team members, new technologies you need to learn, new libraries to check, etc. Things like this may slow down your business progress without the right business structure. Do this to make sure your business runs smoothly:
- Define roles clearly: you can prevent a lot of confusion that may arise in your teams if you simply define the teams’ structure. Everybody should have a clear role to play in helping the business achieve success.
- Cater for your teams: your teams are part of your most important business assets, from truck drivers, warehouse managers, facility managers, and other staff. Make sure they get the necessary things such as licenses, work-life balance, technical support, and other things that may arise.
- Your goals and deadlines should be reasonable: as much as it is important to set goals and deadlines in your business, don’t make the mistake of overdoing it. When you set goals to be achieved, consider the possible uncertainties that may arise. Don’t just do estimates without looking at uncertainties. Don’t overwhelm yourself or other members of your organization’s teams.
At the end of the day, you can move your teams and retail business to achieve success with apt product management.
State clear goals, inspire your teams to work towards those goals, don’t make concessions that won’t improve or promote your product or service quality, and have a clear vision for your business.