Quality Vs. Quantity


You’ve decided to embark on the journey of physical retail. Now you need to decide how to handle your customer base. Should you chase the latest trends in an effort to capitalize on high customer turnover rates, or should you try to cultivate a loyal base of repeat customers. In short, should you go for quantity or quality?

There isn’t a right or wrong answer to this question. There are advantages and disadvantages to each sales approach. What you need to do is decide which works best for you and your specific goals.

The Quantity Approach

Prioritizing quantity over long-term quality seems to have a negative connotation, but it is, in fact, a viable strategy. It all depends on what you’re selling and what you’re looking to gain from the experience. Emphasizing quantity over quality means you’ll benefit from offering a diverse product line that’s easy to alter every time the trends change. Dropshipping (not keeping large quantities of stock at any given time) is ideal here.

The Process

Your goal here is to garner a lot of customers, each of whom is willing to spend a little money on you. So it’s recommended that you spread yourself out a bit. Put out ads across social media and try to capitalize on what’s popular right now. This doesn’t leave you a lot of room for planning and you’ll be at the mercy of the Internet’s short attentions span, so make sure you are capable of changing courses quickly.

E-commerce platforms like Shopify are going to be your friend. They’re quick to set up, cheap to use, and easy to manage. It’s also a good idea to list your products on Amazon as it’s most people’s first stop when shopping for a product online. Just know that Amazon won’t do any promotional work for you, so you’ll have to put in the effort to make sure your products list high on search results.

Who benefits from the quantity approach?

Focusing on quantity over quality is a way to make some quick cash. You won’t build any sort of reliable brand and your business may not have much longevity, but since you won’t be very invested in it, either, it’s perfect for those who need a little money on the side.

The Quality Approach

This is the more stable option, the path you choose when you’re looking to start a long-lasting business venture. It’s the legacy approach for entrepreneurs who want to build up a brand. Here it’s best to focus your product line. For example, don’t try to sell a little bit of clothing, a few kinds of dining room tables, and then some paperback books. Pick one and do it well.

The Process

So let’s say you chose to build up a clothing brand. How do you plan for the long haul? Well for starters, you need to spend more time in the planning phase. Once you’ve decided on the traits that are going to make your clothes unique, start researching your biggest competition. What kinds of deals do they offer? What is their price range and how do they tailor their advertisements and product descriptions to attract their preferred customer? Spend at least a month doing this.

You next major concern should be getting people interested in your line before you start selling. Creating an email list and using it to offer promotions and discounts is a good way to start. (And don’t forget to create and use an email template that is consistent with the brand you want to establish).

Next make sure you’re launch is memorable. Don’t just put your listings up in the dead of night and slink away, throw an event! Make enough noise to generate the kind of insatiable curiosity that leads to sales, and don’t be afraid to use a few products as loss leaders.

Once you’re up and running, focusing on quality means you’ll need to pay more attention to your customers. Their interactions with you shouldn’t end after their initial purchase. You need them to come back, so be sure they have several outlets for providing feedback and listen to what they have to say.

Who benefits from the quantity approach?

This is the strategy for you if your retail business is something you want to make a career out of. It requires a higher time and money investment, but the payouts are greater. If you want to still be managing your clothing line ten years from now, then it’s in your best interest to place the quality of your customers over the quantity.

So no matter which camp you fall in, deciding what kind of customer base you want and how to prepare your business to cater to them should be your first step.

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