Top 3 Mistakes Happening In Retail Today

Our friends over at the Boutique Hub have started a podcast this year and it is phenomenal. It is well worth your time to tune in each Tuesday to hear the latest in retail. The podcast is geared toward boutique owners but is relevant to all retailers.

Today I’m going to give you a little peek at one of the podcasts so you can see what I’m talking about.

This particular podcast goes through the Top 10 Mistakes Happening In Retail Business Today. We’ll go over our top 3.


Mistake #1: Selling Vs. Serving

Many small businesses today are panicking because they are struggling to compete with big box stores and Amazon when it comes to offering low prices.

If a customer wants a cheap product, let them go to Amazon. Let them go to Walmart. But if they want a service that leaves them feeling more confident and beautiful and cared for, knowing that they have a place to return to at the end of the day, then bring ‘em to your boutique.”

-Ashley Alderson

Instead of fighting that losing battle, small businesses should be focusing efforts on a battle they can easily win. That is the ability to offer a better customer experience.

“As I review what’s happening inside of thousands of uber-successful stores that we work with, I find that they have one major thing in common. And that is that their service and the experience they provide to their customer are far more important than mass product.  When they figure out how to serve and create an experience, then the selling comes without strain.”

– Ashley Alderson

Provide a stellar customer experience, and you’ll win loyal customers that will come back again and again.


Mistake #2: Relying Only on In-person Sales to Drive Business

The days of shopping equaling going out to the physical store are no more. Today’s consumer not only shops online, but also searches online for stores near them. If you don’t have an online presence, you’re missing so many opportunities.

“Brick and Mortar retailers definitely need a digital strategy today. Not only to raise brand awareness but to then drive foot traffic back to the store. If you’re not online today, you’re not in business today”

– Ashley Alderson

You need a website so you can take advantage of the opportunity to bring more customers into your store.


Mistake #3: Tracking Data But Not Analyzing It

While many POS systems allow you to run reports, and some even teach you which products are selling most, which have sat on the shelf for too long or which you need to reorder, they won’t do you any good if you don’t look at them.

What made the difference to a non-number-lover:

“Understanding that numbers, when they’re analyzed, can actually tell a story. I just had to know what I was looking for. And then, once trained, then I could use that fun, creative side of my brain to take the next action. But first I had to know the story so tha tI could then understand what action the creative side of my brain needed to take next.”

– Ashley Alderson

If you understand your numbers, you will know what you can afford as far as ordering new inventory. You’ll know which items have been sitting on the shelf and need to be discounted so they stop taking up space. You can track successes and analyze where things need to improve.

Bottom Line

We know business owners are a super busy bunch. Just make sure you aren’t too busy to avoid these 3 mistakes. Focus on customer experience, not price. Be online. Look at your store data.  By doing these things,  your business will succeed in the ever-changing retail world we live in.


Find out the other top 7 mistakes by listening to the full podcast.

Listen to the full podcast here: Top 10 Mistakes Happening in Retail Business Today

Also published on Medium.

Holly Wade is a lover of words and marketing. She can’t read great writing without smiling, and she can’t watch a commercial without analyzing its success as marketing content. She gets a little carried away every time she goes to the library, and she always sides with using the Oxford comma. She loves writing articles that help small retail businesses find success.