How consignment stores can learn from retail in 2018

January 3, 2018

Consignment stores need to take notice of the changes retail is making

“The retail apocalypse” was what they called it. 2017 saw stores closing, declaring bankruptcy, hiring new CEO’s and generally restructuring everything. So, what does it mean for 2018? More importantly, what can consignment stores learn from it?

Stronger loyalty programs

Retail painfully discovered that holding on to loyal customers in the age of Amazon isn’t easy. Stores like Macy’s are totally re-working their loyalty programs. Consignment stores need to reward their most faithful shoppers too. Creating special shopping clubs, awarding bigger rewards points and offering exclusive events are just a few of the opportunities to build loyalty. POS systems like SimpleConsign automatically help you set up and track Rewards Points, even across multiple locations. Take advantage of this easy-to-use feature in 2018.

A new format

A lot of retail stores, particularly department stores, are downsizing. They recognize that shoppers want “smaller-format” stores. Consignment stores have a definite advantage in this area. Most are already smaller. However, retail struggles with too much unsold inventory. Shelves are bursting with excessive amounts of out-of-date merchandise. In order to compete, consignment stores need to streamline their inventory; clear out clutter and improve store design. Read 6 quick and easy changes that will improve store design.

Strange bedfellows

consignment stores should partner with others

Many retailers are forming interesting partnerships. Amazon and Whole Foods, J.C. Penney and Sephora, and Kroger and Ace Hardware are just a few. Actually, when Walmart and Lord & Taylor begin talks, you know it’s time to take a serious look at this trend. Consignment stores would greatly benefit from partnerships. Does it scare you a little though? Read Do not be terrified of the dreaded Consignment CompetitionWhether stores band together or “think outside the box” and partner with a different type of business, 2018 is the year to begin. Partnerships instantly grow your customer base. Plus, they strengthen your community overall.

Increased digital presence

The old adage “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” applies here. If your consignment store doesn’t have a solid online presence, that needs to change in 2018. Even something as simple as regularly maintaining a store’s Facebook page can make a difference. Have you chosen 2 or 3 social media sites to master? You don’t need to be on all of them. Read How to know which social media site is best for you. If you have a website and are selling from it, make sure you’ve maximized its speed. A standard website should load within 3 seconds. The faster your website, the less chance of losing a sale.

                                        

Deb McGonagle

I have been a writer for various forms of marketing for over 40 years. I've written my share of radio and TV scripts, magazine and newspaper ads as well as direct mail brochures and newsletters. Currently, as the Marketing Coordinator for Traxia, home of SimpleConsign software, I've moved into blog posts, eBooks and website text. It's been an ever changing and ever challenging journey but I've loved it all along the way.