The 7 Steps of Successful Retailers

Vaughan Fergusson, Founder

Vend founder Vaughan Fergusson has had the privilege of working alongside tens of thousands of amazing retailers from all around the globe - Mums and Dads with an entrepreneurial spirit just starting out, right through to publicly listed multi-outlet retailers who’ve been wowing their customers for decades.

Naturally, we’ve baked as many of these learnings as possible into Vend so you too can benefit from their many years of collective wisdom.

Read on as Vaughan takes us through the 7 steps of successful retailers and how you can use Vend to follow in their footsteps...


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FIRST, YOU GET STARTED. At some point every great retailer from Sam Walton to Jeff Bezos defies the critics and takes that terrifying first step into the unknown.

Find a location, acquire a bunch of inventory, develop a brand, fit-out the store, setup power and internet, tell people you exist and you’re open for business. Only then comes your first sale!

That’s a lot to do - but it’s also one of the most exciting times. Your idea is about to come to life! You’re ready to share your passion with the world…

How Vend helps retailers at this stage

With Vend, you can get set up and start taking sales in minutes.
Easily accept any payment type, with a choice of providers and hardware.
Vend’s team of retail experts will walk beside you every step of the way, with help available 24/7 by phone, email and live chat.

Right product, right time

YOUR STORE IS OFF to a cracking start, but some products are selling faster than others. Knowing what’s driving revenue and profit is key to your success.

The best retailers study this everyday - checking sell through rates, making sure they have enough inventory in-store or on its way. Creating promotions for slow moving stock to drive sales. Doing regular inventory counts to keep the numbers accurate and to minimise shrinkage.

There is a lot of work to be done here and it’s the sort of work technology loves to solve.

How Vend helps retailers at this stage

You can manage your entire product catalogue and all your suppliers in Vend - with ease.
Make smarter business decisions with reports that surface everything from what’s selling to problem inventory you need to shift.
Turn any iOS device into a powerful mobile barcode scanner using Vend’s free scanner app. Count inventory using the camera right from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.

Know your customers

NOT NECESSARILY EVERY CUSTOMER'S name - but know what your best customers look like and what they love to buy.

This is a gamechanger for successful retailers because they can keep customers coming back for more.

Turning first-time customers into happy life-long customers is key to sustainable revenue growth, because the cost of acquiring new customers is high.

The best retailers ensure their customers feel valued and reward them for their loyalty.

How Vend helps retailers at this stage

We baked a loyalty programme right into Vend so you can quickly and easily reward your best customers with discounts and access to exclusive pricing.
Running regular promotions and discounting slow-moving stock is a great way to build customer loyalty and secure repeat business.
We’ve partnered with Marsello so you can segment your customers and send them targeted messages and exclusive offers. (This stuff rocks!)

Act quickly on insights

GREAT RETAILERS OBSERVE EVERYTHING and can quickly spot insights and trends. This is part art and part science. You hear phrases like “this sells well when you pair it with this product over here”, or “if we haven’t sold $10k by midday, we have work to do.”

Retail is detail. You need to be the master decision maker. Computers are great at seeing trends in numbers but are hopeless at understanding the why.

The key is to use technology to your advantage and have access to smart insights from everywhere, in the store, on the go, at home so you can understand the why and make the decisions.

How Vend helps retailers at this stage

Vend puts valuable insights - accurate to the minute - right in front of you for smarter decision making. Customise the dashboard for each team member.

Sell everywhere

TODAY'S REALITY IS THAT customers can be anywhere, and there have never been more ways to engage. Social media, the web, mobile, in-store or at a pop-up event.

Technology is unlocking new ways to reach customers - but it’s not replacing the in-store experience. It’s just one part of the whole customer experience.

Customers may find you online, perhaps via Instagram. Perhaps they buy online too. But they also like the fact you have a store and they can visit and see the products. They may prefer to buy in store. Or they may do a mix.

Modern retail is about being where your customers are and enabling them to shop however they prefer.

How Vend helps retailers at this stage

Fulfill orders from any store. All your products can be managed through Vend.
Vend integrates with the world’s leading ecommerce platforms including Shopify, BigCommerce and WooCommerce.

Operationalise things

THINGS ARE REALLY HUMMING and you are growing. You hire staff, perhaps even open a second store. It’s getting harder to be everywhere and do everything, so you need to delegate and build your retail dream team.

You will want to set targets for the team, manage security better, reduce shrinkage and have workflows to deal with inventory and the day to day operations of the store.

To win here you need great tools for managing finances, scheduling of staff, inventory management, sales targets - all the good operational stuff.

Processes and systems are another thing technology is good at streamlining. Offload as much of this as possible onto your retail platform.

How Vend helps retailers at this stage

Keeping track of inventory is a vital part of any growing retail store. All the tools to manage this are built right into Vend, including purchase orders and inventory counts (stocktaking).
Set sales targets for your staff in Vend. They will see their own progress reflected in real-time on their dashboard, and you can see reports on all your staff’s performance from anywhere, any time.

Scale up

YOU’RE READY TO SCALE. You know how to open stores and how to manage inventory. You understand who and where your customers are. You’re getting the right information out of your business to make decisions quickly.

As you grow, your back office tools might need to scale up too. Maybe your accounting package needs to be swapped out for a bigger financial management platform. Your ecommerce store needs an upgrade. You may need to implement an ERP to manage your operations.

It’s best to have a retail platform that grows with you and integrates with others so you can pick the best software for the various parts of your business.

How Vend helps retailers at this stage