To remain competitive, retail businesses must meet and exceed customers’ expectations. This effort can be enhanced by developing a reputation that values the concept of selling high-quality goods or services. Although products received by retail outlets are one step removed from the manufacturing process, retailers can incorporate systems at various points in business routines that will maximize attempts to sell quality products.
As a retail business owner, you might proactively evaluate inventory prior to ordering. For example, to give yourself an opportunity to avoid ordering defective merchandise, visit local wholesalers with the intention of inspecting firsthand the items you might purchase. However, with the globalization of business, as well as options to purchase from Internet sellers, personal inspection may prove difficult or impossible, so an alternative might be to request pre-order commodity samples. Requisitioning samples from several vendors simultaneously provides a chance to compare merchandise and select the best.
Barring visits to vendors, you can inspect items upon receipt of shipments. Contracts with tradespeople could stipulate that any item received that is lacking in quality can be returned within a designated time period. Train your employees to be alert to shipped merchandise that may not meet your quality standards. Careful visual inspection can reveal faulty products that should be withheld from stocking for sales. You might designate a section of your warehouse for these items, organized by vendor to allow for a smoother return process.
Displayed items for resale should be routinely examined for imperfect or poor quality. During the course of doing business, items might be mishandled by customers and inadvertently broken. During store clean-up and dusting, staff members can be heedful of damaged merchandise and promptly remove it from stock. Tracking articles possessing questionable quality and their associated vendors can help you maintain quality control. Over time, your documentation will readily indicate products that are repeatedly defective or that draw regular customer complaints.
You can maintain control over product quality by backing up your visual vigilance with written policies. For instance, a business reputation that attests to adhering to quality control standards might be reflected in strong guidelines for customer returns and refunds, such as those that allow for unquestioned money-back guarantees for damaged of faulty goods. Such a policy might also incorporate a brief customer survey related to the returned item to provide you with insight into product performance, which you can use for consideration in future orders.