When I was a toddler one of my favorite songs was “Johnny Works with One Hammer.” For those that are unfamiliar the song is about what I can only assume is a very bad carpenter. Johnny has a job to accomplish and instead of using different tools all he does is grab more hammers. Eventually, after much hammering, Johnny gets tired and goes to sleep, no doubt leaving his customer dissatisfied, the project incomplete, and Johnny with an extremely low Yelp rating.
What does my trip down memory lane have to do with retail? A lot, actually: the lesson from my favorite nursery rhyme (at least for the purposes of this blog) is that you cannot accomplish anything if all you use is a hammer.
Essentially that is what retailers are doing when they seek to only leverage price in order to win customers. Today’s customer is too savvy and competition too stiff to win with only hammers. Retailers have to reach into their toolbox, become craftsmen, and “learn to speak customer.”
They have to a grab wood chisel in order to craft prices with their markdown strategy. Leverage their framing square to get the right promotion, to the right customer, on the right items. Measure twice and cut once to truly optimize their stores from the bottom up and top down.
Accomplishing all of this is not as easy as just finding a solution and using it. It requires selecting a partner that not only understands retail but speaks customer as well. Choosing tools to optimize price, promotion, markdown, and space is not a winning strategy in and of itself.
However, these tools become successful when they are combined with a partner that has an unrelenting drive to understand the customer and deliver ROI. Partners that intelligently use all the data at their disposal but most importantly that listen to and understand customers’ signals. Partners that are true retail craftsmen, not Johnnies.
Stop working with Johnnies. Come by our booth 2962 at NRF and learn how to become a true retail craftsman.