How to Create Competitive Differentiation in Retail


How to Create Competitive Differentiation in Retail

Standing out in the crowd is one of the most cherished ambitions for us humans. Done right and for the right reasons, it grabs attention and sparks interest.

YRC is a management consulting firm, specifically for the BC sector. Empower retail and e-commerce businesses. »

— Nikhil Agarwal

DUBAI, DUBAI, DUBAI, Sept. 27, 2022 / — Interest creates desire and desires motivate people to initiate favorable actions. The same phenomenon can also be observed in business, but with the difference that this is a marketing strategy aimed at favorably influencing customers and consumer behavior.

The need for brand differentiation stems from competition and the homogeneity of products and services. But if a brand is uniquely positioned in a market, it helps businesses create a brand persona that customers can easily distinguish and associate with. The more strongly a brand or business resonates with its customers and their needs and aspirations, the better its prospects for customer acquisition and retention.

But stating terms as unique and strong differentiation brings us to ambiguity. In business, there is no room for ambiguous communication, whether it is internal communication or brand communication to the outside. This article highlights five powerful marketing strategies to create competitive differentiation as retail business ideas.

Five Powerful Strategies for Competitive Differentiation in Retail
Add value and emotion to the customer experience
When considering customer experience, value and emotions are two key metrics of retail performance. Both of these elements exist and speak for a brand at every touchpoint that customers encounter in their buying journey.

Emotion in the customer experience can be reduced to feelings associated with being right, being treated more than fairly, meeting expected performance standards, and delivering on promises. For example, if a bike rental service advertises that bikes are available in all price ranges, but when customers visit the store or inquire by phone or chat and are told that only expensive products are available, these discrepancies are a source of dissatisfaction for customers. . This is when customers feel wrong and brands fail to deliver on promises and expected performance standards.

Value is usefulness to customers. It fuels motivation and provides the resources to pursue a buying journey. From the example used earlier, if the retail business fails to provide information to customers or answer their questions in the required manner, it interrupts the decision-making process of customers. It’s also a blow to the customer experience.

Attention to these experience details and the improvisations made in them means a lot to customers and helps retailers create positive, subtle differences that often go unnoticed by competitors.

Adopt online technologies
Adopting online technologies does not necessarily mean moving to e-commerce. Many aspects of online technologies could be used by traditional retailers to bring their brand closer to the market and to customers. For example, having an e-commerce website or application allows customers to preview products and services offered, check prices, learn about terms and conditions, place orders, track deliveries, file complaints , etc. online digital platforms, it makes sense to integrate them into the business and provide digital convenience to customers. Businesses that refrain from having an e-commerce strategy and going online in a relevant way are falling behind competitors who make it easier for customers to contact them.

Offer multiple payment options

Retail stores, online or offline, must ensure that all payment options offered are working properly in the normal course of business. If an option is not working properly, they should let customers know and try to get back into action as soon as possible. Many customers on online platforms cancel or suspend their purchasing decisions from the checkout page when they find that the desired payment option is not available. The downtime may be a few minutes, but that time is enough to drive dozens or hundreds of customers to a competitor’s website.

An effective approach to facilitating the checkout process is express checkout. Express Checkout reduces or automates the need to fill out required fields such as billing, shipping, and payment information. It stores previously entered information with a user-friendly interface. It displays only the necessary information. It maintains consistency across devices.

Also in physical stores, the problem of one or more of the payment options not working is endemic. Customers don’t like to be limited by options at checkout. And consulting for large retail brands or as part of consulting resources for small retail businesses could verify this.

Having multiple options for making payments for purchases adds flexibility to customers’ shopping experience. It is not only a tangible utility for customers, but also gives them a psychological advantage. Customers have the choice to change their payment method until the last moment of payment. This is one of the powerful retail business ideas for all retailers.

Use digital marketing

Retail businesses operating in the brick and mortar format should opt for digital marketing to create a competitive advantage over their offline and online competitors. With the increasing penetration of the internet, the democratization of technology, and the ever-increasing use and popularity of search engines and social media platforms, digital marketing is the need of the hour for those in the commerce of detail. Digital marketing is not just limited to promotions but also analytics. It gives businesses cutting-edge information and insights for a better understanding of markets and consumer behavior. It’s retail gold. It helps businesses contribute to competitive differentiation in terms of promotional accuracy and informative insights for marketing decisions and strategies.

Offer discounts and membership plans and benefits

Discounts are often effective in increasing retail sales and securing a customer base. Discounts can be temporary or long term as retail business ideas. Temporary discounts are offered for a limited period and selected products. This strategy works for destocking, market development (new players) and countering competitive forces. The other form of retail discount is long term. Retailers use this market development strategy as a long-term strategy. In some cases, discount rates continue to decline once the desired market share is achieved. This strategy works especially well for grocery stores and department stores where price differences are easily recognizable by customers compared to any competing store. Retailers are able to offer discounts by reducing their margins and betting on volume.

As part of consulting resources for small retail businesses, membership is generally advocated as a powerful strategy in retail business ideas. It has been used by many fashion brands and retailers. But over the years, the strategy is used by retailers across all industries and channels. Retail brands try to create brand differentiation based on special benefits for members versus what is offered to non-members. Early and free deliveries are a prime example. Once released, the benefits of membership begin to speak for themselves among customers – members and non-members.

How YRC can make a difference

YRC (Your Retail Coach) is a retail boutique ( and e-commerce consulting company. Launched in 2012, YRC now has a growing international presence. He has consulted over 500 clients in over 20 verticals.

YRC offers specialized services in emerging and critical areas of retail and e-commerce such as customer experience (CX), digital transformation, omnichannel and hybrid business models, and digital marketing. These services are uniquely designed for each client with marketing fundamentals and ever-changing industry requirements in mind.

More information about YRC’s retail and e-commerce business consulting services can be found on their official website. Get advice for Retail Business Consulting:

Rupal Shah Agarwal
+91 98604 26700
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