How to do a SWOT analysis in retail

Written by trisha dawe
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How to do a SWOT analysis in retail
Retail businesses can benefit by conducting a SWOT analysis. (Getty Thinkstock)

Retail companies, like any business, benefit from an in-depth look at their profitability and operations by conducting a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis comprises of identifying internal factors that can be adapted by the retail business such as their strengths and weaknesses, as well as getting to know the uncontrollable external considerations that constitute opportunities and threats. Do your research before going in for a SWOT analysis and consider methods of incorporating techniques to increase productivity and profitability while achieving the company's mission and vision statements.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Tour the shop with an unbiased attitude and view the products, employee interactions with customers, the building and the displays. Note down any exemplary vision you see throughout the shop. Research the company's financial information pertaining to assets, expenditures and profit.

  2. 2

    List all of the company's visuals, products and employee strengths. Compare the list of SWOT analysis strengths from any previous analyses to see what has changed. Examples of strengths may include inventive marketing techniques, innovative product lines, the professionalism and courtesy of employees, building location and appearance or adequate financial backing.

  3. 3

    Brainstorm on potential weaknesses from the shop tour, internal operations and those from previous analyses. Include any comparisons to other competitors that may be considered weaknesses. List things like the lack of competitive advantage, a hard-to-find store with no adequate parking, unhelpful or rude employees, inefficient technology and low-quality goods.

  4. 4

    Formulate ways and means to turn the weaknesses into strengths and other opportunities within the market that can be adapted to improve the retail company. List these ideas into the opportunities section of the SWOT analysis. Adding more products and services to gain an advantage, expansion of the location to accommodate more customers, selling products via the company website and inviting international consumers to purchase your goods are examples of opportunities.

  5. 5

    Visit competitor stores selling similar products as a mystery shopper and research any of their public financial information to compare them to that of your own business. Review current trends in the market that may pose a threat to the retail business.

  6. 6

    List threats that may affect the profitability and productivity of the retail business, such as fickle trends and consumer spending habits. Increase in competitors and the state of the economy are other examples of uncontrollable threats.

  7. 7

    Analyse the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats acquired. Configure methods to capitalise on the strengths and opportunities, and think about marketing techniques to eliminate or lessen the effects of weaknesses and threats.

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