Retail Resolutions

2020 marks a new year, new decade and new normal. It also means an opportunity to look at your business with clear, 2020 vision. Are you ready?

To give you a jump-start, we’ve rounded up a handful of New Year’s resolutions. Think of these ideas and best practices as your business roadmap, so you don’t look back with 2020 hindsight at what could’ve been.

Seek out and eliminate friction. 

Online retail giants have amplified consumer expectations in everything from checkout and returns to shipping and reorders. Identify any and all points of friction in your customer experience, and work toward eradicating them. And whenever possible, involve staff in creating—and owning—the solutions.

Consider new music education opportunities. 

Spotify and streaming have spawned an age of niche musical tastes. You might host a rock camp in your lesson program, but what about students of musical theater or the blues? More and more, there’s no one-size-fits-all.

Embrace tough conversations with staff. 

Don’t hold back on discussing touchy topics with your team, such as pay ceilings and promotions. Short-term discomfort will often create clarity, dispel common myths and even get employees aspiring to positions within your company that they wouldn’t have otherwise.

Optimize Instagram.

One in 10 Instagram users now shop using the platform, according to Hootsuite’s stats. If you’re not already, make sure you’re harnessing the full power of Instagram to increase sales. Optimize your business profile with a strong bio and link to your website—or a particular product. Likewise, consider experimenting with Instagram ads within your feed or in your Stories.

Re-examine your policies. 

For instance, do you have a strict no-makeup-lesson policy in your education program? In the age of Uber and on-demand everything, will that policy alienate customers? Again, fight friction, even when it’s tough.

Hey, Alexa, focus on voice search. 

These days, nearly 30 percent of all internet searches are done without a screen. That impacts how your customers find you. Are you preparing your search engine optimization for voice search?

Think content. 

Content (creation) is king. Musicians now think in terms of music and video. Does your product mix and lesson program reflect this shift? Also, chances are you have expertise in a particular area, be it repairs, an instrument or a brand.

Is there a marketing opportunity to present your insight via a company podcast or video series?

Mobile first. 

On Black Friday 2019, mobile orders surged by 35 percent, according to Salesforce—and it’s a trend that’s unlikely to abate. If you’re thinking about redesigning your website, think beyond just mobile-friendly. Successful websites are now mobile-first, as opposed to built for desktop and re-engineered for mobile later. This is a big project, of course, but figure it into your long-term planning.

Zach Phillips