The retail industry is one of Australia’s biggest industries. Over 1.2 million people are employed and the industry turned-over $25 Million in January 2017 alone. So while people continue to cry that the industry is dying, the reality is far from that picture.
No thanks to the sweeping evolution of consumption as brought on by the advent of the internet and connected devices, the retail space is going through changes. While it keeps pace with what consumers want, and where and how they want their products, managing a retail business through these never-ending technology waves can be incredibly challenging.
Just when you think you’ve got ahead of everything, something new comes along and changes the entire landscape. Of course, the worst thing to do is to sit on your hands or hold onto the rails and ride out the storm. Instead, those who will succeed are the ones who keep ahead of the changes and trail-blaze a new path. Though, this is not exactly easy, but with the right management skills, navigating change is achievable.
You might’ve already realised that management skills are transferrable across all industries but it takes another type of individual to steer the ship in retail, especially one who can predict and then meet a customer’s needs. As businesses become accustomed to serving digitally and physically, these different environments still need to meet the customer’s needs no matter what stage of the buying journey they’re at. After all, without customers your retail business would cease to exist.
So with this in mind, how can you now best brace for an ever changing career in retail management? Formalising your experience and skills with a qualification is one safety measurement you can take.
Undertaking a course through a registered training organisation like Upskilled will equip you with those skills and competencies you may not have quite grasped or been responsible for on the job just yet.
What’s more, as things change in the industry, course materials and units of competency are updated to reflect the changes ensuring students are abreast with developments.
Because the retail landscape has become fractured on the surface, a strong business is one that has all its channels integrated and a successful manager is certainly one that oversees this organisational structure.
Where you will lead is by bringing the best of both worlds together, teaming up your bricks-and-mortar pedigree with digital natives for a solid team. The key is managing both those disparate aspects together; if they’re out of sync, then those cracks start to show for the customer.
Here, you’ll realise that those management skills become imperative to balancing both sides of the business. While your experience may be more biased to one channel, be it in-store or online, a great manager is one who can handle both. According to NAB, online retail sales still only account for around 7% of Australian retail spend. What this means is that traditional stores are still key to your business when it comes to sales. The growth of online spend continues at a steady double digit pace however, with personal and fashion items being the biggest growth sectors annually.
So will you heed our advice on managing your career through this changing space? Those who have the foresight and endeavour to remain dynamic in the face of industry developments will surely lead a long and successful career in retail.