Winning at retail


26th June, 2018

How to win at retail like Kathmandu (regardless of scale)

Having a multinational retail footprint and millions of dollars to spend in marketing can certainly help at the big end of Retail Town. But there are still plenty of other tactics small business owners can try.

Recently, Kathmandu shares jumped 14 percent soon after the adventure clothing retailer upped its profit forecasts as a result of improved sales.

There are plenty of external and internal factors that can influence a retailer’s fortunes when it comes to sales revenue, many of which remain out of a small retailer’s sphere of influence.

But Kathmandu’s leadership flagged some very specific things they’ve done to produce this result, and the good news is these tactics are available to all businesses.

So, what does the business attribute to its improved outlook and how can you hope to replicate its growth?

As part of the recent profit upgrade, Kathmandu CEO CEO Xavier Simonet called out the following three success points:

1. Successfully launching innovative new products

Kathmandu isn’t just a product retailer – it’s also in the business of designing and manufacturing its own lines. Even small retailers may consider how to source their own. (Just be aware that it comes with a warning: if you plan to introduce products that compete with your suppliers, you may end up losing those other brands from your shelves.)

This process is an example of vertical integration, and we’ve seen businesses of all sizes take up the strategy in recent times.

READ: How to spread your business net further

There are many examples of small to medium retailers experimenting with marketing their own branded products, and in some cases these products can end up driving the majority of growth in the business.

Consider the case of a stall owner at a market. They may sell a number of products supplied to them alongside the pieces they produce themselves – whether that’s honey, wood carvings or whatever else they have to offer.

2. Enhanced in-store customer experience

Understanding customer experience (CX) may originally have applied solely to in-store experiences, however many retailers have taken this down an online route – to varying degrees of success.

As more and more retailers wind up online, having a physical storefront becomes a real point of difference. You just have to make sure you’re bringing in enough money to cover those high rental overheads.

To win in this element of their offering, small retailers should consider doubling down on their customer service, advertising sustainability and eco-friendly initiatives, and figure out the best methods of integrating online experience into a bricks-and-mortar one.

READ: 5 tips for running a bricks and mortar business

3. Inspiring content and engagement on social media and digital channels

Kathmandu is a leader among ANZ outdoor brands for its forward-thinking attitude towards digital-marketing methods.

Not only does the brand have dedicated personnel to manage these channels, they also engage with their staff to go out on journeys, to create and capture content that’s highly relevant for their target market.

It’s one thing to have a Facebook page, but it’s something else entirely to be regularly creating compelling written and photographic materials to dress it with.

How can you better leverage the resources you have to achieve the same?

READ: Time poor? Here’s how to create great brand content regardless