Retail sales grew for the ninth consecutive month in March, according to the National Retail Federation, reflecting an ongoing trend of improving consumer activity. However, small businesses in the retail sector need to realize that such improvements do not necessarily spell improved sales for all storefronts and merchants.
As such, now may be a more important time than ever to conduct vital market research, narrow down your targeted demographics and rejuvenate you marketing initiatives.
Of course, this is easier said than done, so businesses may want to implement some sort of survey or customer feedback system that can expand their brand and consumer network.
"You should also have the backbone and creativity to inquire with those who are not buying," writes Inc. magazine. "Why? This data will help you identify the true impediments to growing your business."
"Rather than competitors, you might find that ineffective marketing, unremarkable products and offers or too many options are the culprits of customer inaction," the source adds.
Social media and direct mail can also be leveraged to accrue market research, as consumers are much more likely to provide honest answers through anonymous venues. Print a customer questionnaire and send it to your mailing list. What you find may surprise you.