Now, more than ever, retail businesses are not bound by strict borders in terms of what they sell. You only have to look at what pharmacies sell today compared to ten years ago to realise the value of change.

But this type of change, retailers trading outside what is usual for their type of business, is common. There are successful coffee shops today that started out as a customer service experience in vehicle repair shops, fashion outlets and more. 

What is it you could sell in your business that does not fit neatly into what is usual for your type of retail business?

In our work in a range of specialty retail channels we see successes where retailers play outside what is usual for their type of business, where they ignore the borders of tradition.

Doing this successfully starts with looking at the type of customers you currently attract and considering this with the capacity of the business to offer other products and services within the space and capital restraints of the business.

A good place to start is to analyse basket data in your software and, through this, to build up a better understanding of what people purchase. Using departments, categories and tags, you can build an understanding beyond what you recall from serving customers.

Use your data to explore possibilities beyond what you sell today.

  1. Who is your customer?
  2. What else do they buy?
  3. What can I sell them allied to what they buy from me yet that I do not carry today.

Data analysis shop could uncover a niche interest among customers that could be served by the business carrying something you may not usually see in a your type shop.

We see this activity as important. If you rely on traffic that is usual for your type of business your results will most likely be usual for your type of business. Whereas if you attract traffic beyond what is usual, your results ought to be beyond what is usual.

Retail today is more borderless than ever. While it is important your business can be easily understood, you can do this and reach beyond what is traditional with careful management and attention.

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