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10 Qualities That Distinguish Retail Companies Poised for Growth: Part Two

Epicor's 2016 global growth tracker survey outlines the top 10 qualities that differentiate retail organizations poised for sustainable growth. Epicor calls these companies "grow getters," and defines them as people and organizations that understand what it takes to grow in today's dynamic business environment. "They know what growth looks like for their business and have the vision and drive to act on it," says the study.
The survey determined 10 principal characteristics that separate the grow getters from those in their wake. In Part One of this post, we discussed the first five of those characteristics: focusing outside the business, bringing planning to the forefront, managing stress more effectively, having an optimistic perspective, and believing in yourself. Today we detail the final five qualities of grow getters.

6. Embrace change.
Change is a constant in today's dynamic marketplace, and high-growth retailers embrace it. Seventy-six percent of high-growth companies prefer constant innovation to business stability, while only 49 percent of low-growth companies do so. In an age where innovation is driven by rising customer expectations, it's not surprising that growing companies are embracing change; failing to do so is a huge impediment to success. Retailers focused on growth should invest in an integrated retail management solution that gives them the visibility and agility they need to quickly respond to changing market demands and stay ahead of the competition. Growth changes businesses forever; you can't be a grow getter if wed to the status quo.

7. Invest where it counts.
The top five investment priorities for high-growth companies in 2017:

  • Customer loyalty systems (29 percent)
  • Internet of Things (IoT) (28 percent)
  • Inventory management (27 percent)
  • Mobile technology (27 percent)
  • Cloud computing (26 percent)

To become a high-growth business, retailers should focus on technologies that provide operational efficiencies and link directly to improving the customer experience through real-time analytics and mobile POS.
Do you have a strategy to improve the customer experience-and are you investing accordingly?

Timeframe for IT Investment Impact_8. Invest particularly in new technology and innovation.
Eighty-eight percent of high-growth companies are planning significant investments in technology and innovation in 2017. Less than half of low-growth companies are planning similar investments! The point here is clear: high-growth retailers understand that investing in technology that enables innovation is essential to grow the top line. 

9. Demand fast ROI from IT spend.
Grow getters don't just invest where it counts; they demand fast return on investment. Seventy-two percent of high-growth companies expect returns within a year, and 31 percent expect returns within six months. In contrast, 60 percent of low-growth companies expect that returns will take appreciably longer than a year. As a group, a little more than half of retailers (52 percent) expect to see returns within a year, and only 19 percent within six months. When you have limited resources to invest, it's useful to know how soon to expect a return and when to push for faster ROI. Should you be asking more of your investment?

10. Focus squarely on the customer.
In today's fast-paced and constantly changing environment, a seamless and connected customer experience should be a key growth consideration in any growth strategy, especially in retail. Eighty percent of high-growth companies cite changes in customer needs in the digital space as having critical impact on their ability to achieve business growth in the coming year, while only 61 percent of low-growth companies thought the same. Interestingly, only two-thirds of retailers as a group highlighted adapting to evolving customer needs as critical for business growth. The final takeaway: customer needs are changing, and your business needs to become “customer-obsessed.”
Whatever growth looks like for you, Epicor has a suite of retail-specific solutions and an industry-leading service team to help you expand your business. Go here for more information. 


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