How to do research for your SMBs and retails?
Marketers must be good researchers also; this isn’t some new knowledge but a basic one. While professional marketers focus intently on research, small business heads totally miss the point. Either you lack the skill or don’t understand the importance of retail research & analysis.
Since you are a small business owner, hiring a marketer from the top B school won’t be affordable at all. So I am here to help you with the research part of your small business.
What is good retail research?
Research doesn’t mean scrolling through the internet all day. In fact, it is the worst way to do it. Retail Research should be done with the intention of awareness.
You must be aware of your business, your customer, your competitor retail business, and what you can do to improve it.
Often good researches result in good ideas later develop to brilliant strategies. The main goal of having a business is revenue and establishing a brand. Both goals can get a push if you focus on good SMB researches.
Focusing only on competitors also is a bad way to do it. There are other major areas you should do constant research and keep updating.
In the coming sections, I will explain what should you research and how you can do it.
The thing I constantly preach is Do your research; build your knowledge base. Don’t just go into a business on a whim or a prayer- and don’t think ‘I am an entrepreneur so I have to take risks’. Entrepreneur’s don’t take risks. They take calculated risks;only the good ones.– Theo Paphitis
1. Retail research to Know In and Out of your Business
Yes, the primary area to do research is your own business. You might or might not know the in and out of your business. If you don’t know, you should. That includes all the aspects of your business. Outlook, interior, production, sales, customers, and so on.
Do enough retail research for alternate plans and backup plans also. Evaluate the productivity and success rate of campaigns.
Another important aspect is your employees. They can see what you can’t!
How you do it?
Most of the factors can be evaluated using Business Intelligence and Analytics. If you are using a smart POS and ERP like Checkout Progress or Progress Plus you can easily pull-out reports from anywhere and have analysis in front for you. You can have reports for all the categories you want.
Business Analytics show the reports in an understandable fashion. The boon here is Business Intelligence gives you actionable insights.
The external factors should be evaluated as well. Build a loyal customer base, ask for customer’s honest feedback, go through Google reviews, social media post comments.
2. Study your Competitors
You might be aware of competitor analysis software in the case of digital marketing. This is a part of competitor analysis, but not all of it.
Evaluate how they perform online and offline. Have an understanding what’s their strength and weakness. Oppose them to that of yours.
While competitors limits to your area, you can have case studies of similar businesses all over the world.
How you do it?
Be the loyal customers of your competitors. Go through their online and offline updates. Go through their annual statistics reports.
There are plenty of bloggers who do case studies on businesses. Google will help you out there.
3. Be updated on Technology
Updated technology is one way to show that you are focused on your business. Customers will have a seamless experience, consequently establishing a loyal customer base.
For example, if you are someone who researches constantly on technology and available options, you would know the impact of SaaS-based ERP as opposed to the On-premise ERP.
Having a conventional POS will eventually fail you if you are not aware of Smart payment terminals like POYNT and feature-filled POS applications.
You should know how the world is moving forward, using technologies and analyze the trends. You may even become the pioneer of some technology at your place.
How you do it?
You can subscribe to online journals, articles, news pieces, etc. Request a demo if you are interested in some technology and you will learn the basics.
4. Have an eye for Versatile Ideas
As a business owner, this might be a little bit surprising for you. However, for a marketer, it is not. Marketers know the value of different and unique ideas.
Ideas inspire ideas and eventually lead to the establishment of your unique brand.
Setting up a small food truck to founding million dollars startup, all depends on the uniqueness of idea and implementation. Search for unique ideas all over the world.
How you do it?
Search Engines and Social media!
Yes, Google is the best friend for a marketer. They bring out you the best ideas in a snap. Most of the social media platforms have implemented an interest-based algorithm to cater to what interests you.
Go to social media platforms; not only Facebook and LinkedIn, but also Tumblr, Reddit, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. There are a wide variety of unique products, business, and ideas establishing all around the world.
Ask the creators about the backstories and take inspiration from them. Unknowingly, you are creating the biggest network for your brand.
Research always helps in learning and understanding better. Tell us how you were doing research for your retail business and share your successful tips.
Checkout Point, a subsidiary of WayPoint Systems, provides you the Smart business solution for your business. We have customized POS software and applications, optimized cloud-based ERP integrated with Business Analytics and Business Intelligence. Operating in GCC since 2013, we complete your business IT requirements with constant updates and round the clock support.