With up to 11000 jobs and 164 shops currently at risk, the downfall of BHS shows that even the most established brands need to adapt in order to stay on top.
Whilst there are a number of complex factors which have resulted in the closure of BHS, it’s an unfortunate reminder of how retailers need to keep up to date in order to stay ahead of the competition, no matter how large a company you are. Not unlike Woolworths, BHS have been unable to keep up with the changing pace of retail, the constant change in consumer habits and the rise of online shopping, missing multiple opportunities to capitalise on these changes, falling victim to them instead.
This week's news should not only cause retailers and business owners to pause and reflect, but also learn from the failings of BHS, in order to not make the same mistakes.
Don’t count on customer loyalty
Whilst a happy customer relationship is always needed no matter which line of business you are in and keeping your loyal customers is admittedly important. Remember however, relying solely on your ‘old’ customers isn’t the way to evolve. Reach out to new audiences and use effective means such as email marketing and social media to reach out to new potential customers as well as serving your loyal customers.
Create customer experiences
Instead of simply pushing your products on customers start creating rich customer experiences. Don’t just sell, offer rewards to your customers such as coupons, special offers, even an odd free gift. If your customers are grateful and feel like they are getting something in return, they’ll appreciate their shopping experience a whole lot more.
Don’t forget online
Although it might seem like an impossibility, there’s still companies out there who aren’t utilising there online stores. In this day and age even established brick and mortar stores need an effective, responsive and up to date website, failure to offer this could result in a huge loss in sales and could actually make potential customers shop elsewhere.
Keep up to date
Keep an eye on the competition, being an established business doesn’t mean you can be ignorant to the world around you. Always keep an eye out on what other businesses in the same industry are doing and remember whatever they might be doing, you need to do too.
Ultimately you shouldn’t be afraid to take risks, your business might be fine pottering along for 20+ year doing the same thing, but you can’t ride that wave forever. Businesses always need to take some risks, be it a change in brand identity, reaching out to a newer audience or embracing the world of social media. without risks your business simply can’t make progress.
With consumers wanting a fast paced, convenience based shopping experience, it’s important that all businesses, large and small are aware of the changing dynamic both online and on the high street, failure to be aware could be disastrous for your business.