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Retailing is getting more challenging. Here’s how your store can compete.

By Rieva Lesonsky

The retail business is changing—mainly due to the transformation of the American consumer. Marshal Cohen, the Chief Industry Analyst at NPD Group, writes that consumers are “demanding something different,” and if retailers don’t provide it they will lose.

Cohen says today’s consumers “don’t want to acquire more stuff—they want to do more stuff.” As a result they will be shifting their spending behaviors from buying products to purchasing experiences, such as travel, spa visits and more.

In order to compete, Cohen advises, manufacturers need to create more “exciting” products and retailers “need to enhance the shopping experience.”

The key to success, Cohen explains, is engaging with your customers. It is not about omnichannel (which is good news for small businesses), but rather about offering consumers more focused and personalized experiences. Your goal should be to connect with your customers.

Price will be increasingly important, adds Cohen. He explains, “While consumers will be looking for convenience, ease and timeliness when shopping, the purchase decision will be dominated by price.”

But, warns Cohen, don’t think just offering deals and sales will be enough to attract shoppers. Retailers must offer unique products and experiences in order to compete in the marketplace.