What Top Retailers Do Differently

The National Retail Federation says these are the annual sales of the top 10 retailers:

  • Walmart: $353.1 billion
  • Kroger: $103.9 billion
  • Costco: $84.5 billion
  • Home Depot: $79.3 billion
  • Walgreens: $76.6 billion
  • Target: $73.2 billion
  • CVS: $72.1 billion
  • Amazon: $61.6 billion
  • Albertsons: $58.4 billion
  • Lowe’s: $57.4 billion

Why do they have billions in revenue, while other retailers struggle to stay afloat?

Here’s what some top retailers like these do to keep their competitive edge:

  • In-Store Experience Matches Market Expectations

    Walmart customers purchase based on price. Costco customers buy on value for the dollar. Apple customers buy because they feel they get higher quality.What’s your company’s value proposition? Continue to refine that until it meets or exceeds your market’s expectation. Having an amazing in-store experience which matches that value proposition is a huge differentiator in today’s era of buying online.
  • Customer Service

    Some retailers have customer service that doesn’t do a thing for customers. Others, like Costco have amazing customer service.At Costco, all customer transactions are stored digitally. Customers don’t need a receipt or membership card to return their products. Returns are simply available.Also, the onus is on the vendor, not the customer. If the customer doesn’t like a product, for any reason (even if it’s a ridiculous one), they can simply return it. Also, Costco takes back broken or damaged items, even if it’s the customer’s fault, within certain timeframes.Now, that’s serving the customer.
  • They Think Small

    At large and successful retailers, nothing is too small. They brand their shopping bags. They make sure their shopping bags are sturdy. Bathrooms are always clean. Employees are trained so they can help customers efficiently.Nike’s changing rooms feel like professional athletes’ locker rooms. Starbucks coffee is hot, but not scalding hot. You can drink it immediately. Apple and Home Depot email you a copy of your receipt.When customers go into the stores of leading retailers, they have a near painless experience. And if they don’t, the store takes action.
  • They Focus on Customer Retention Over Acquisition

    Acquiring new customers is always good. But you minimize the effectiveness of this when you don’t give your customers what they want. That leads to higher churn. In turn, that costs you more money to re-acquire old customers, and other new ones.

So, why not make the experience with your company amazing from the start, and give your customers absolutely no reason to change?

Great companies don’t obsess over acquiring more customers. They focus on keeping the ones they have happy. In turn, those customers happily reward that company with more business…and they tell others about the company also.

In addition to Costco and Amazon, The Motley Fool says Dillard’s, Kmart, and Trader Joe’s have the happiest customers, according to the American Consumer Satisfaction Index.

Stumped for growth ideas? You’re not anymore. And you now have plenty of competition to research to generate new strategies in your own niche.