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A guide to sizing up your competition

A guide to sizing up your competition

The retail world can be a competitive place. If your store is located in a shopping mall or district, there are likely other stores that sell similar items to what you have lining your gondola shelves and wall displays. If you want your business to succeed, you’ll have to stay ahead of the competition, which means you’ll need to analyze nearby stores on a regular basis.

Paying your neighbors a visit
It’s never a bad idea to get to know the other shops in your area, even if they are direct competitors. There’s no need to be secretive about your visits – dressing up incognito is only going to get you in trouble. Instead, you should introduce yourself to store owners and try to strike up a friendly relationship. Invite them to come and check out your store – competition is healthy, so getting to know each other’s marketing and store organization strategies is wise.

Playing the online game
Remember to visit your competitors’ online sites and social media pages as well. Most stores in today’s world have a presence on the web, and you should make sure there isn’t too much of an overlap between your online marketing techniques and theirs. Don’t copy the questions your competitors post on their Facebook or Twitter, but feel free to use any successful posts they make as inspiration for your own social media updates.

Active competition
If you want to engage your customers and drive more people to your neighborhood, active and open competition with neighbors is a good idea. Suggest the idea to a nearby store owner first, and then work together to let customers know you’re having a fun store challenge. You and your competitor can each create a window display filled with adult and child mannequins and wholesale ribbon, and ask shoppers to pick their favorite in an online vote.