A recent announcement ( see here ) that planning laws in England and Wales are to be relaxed to allow retailers to offer ‘click and collect’ services to consumers more easily got us thinking,
Recent years have seen many smaller independent retailers put under increasing pressure and this has seen the prediction of the demise of the traditional high street.Factors include,the recent recession,the continued rise of the big retail chains including the Supermarkets and the huge rise in online shopping with giants like Amazon.With the rise of Smartphones we have also seen an increase in ‘Showrooming’ where consumers use a local retailer to view goods they have seen online and then still purchase them online.
It all seems a bit grim for a small independent retailers on the high street but really there are many ways they can fight back.
The internet is a great opportunity for small retailers and for all small businesses.You really can compete on level terms with the very biggest retailers.Here are a few tips that might help high street shops harness the power of Online Retail:
-Invest in an e-commerce website allowing your customers to buy from you 24 hours a day/7 days a week.Development costs are quite reasonable these days typically we develop e-commerce websites from around £950 upwards.
-Set up an online store on Ebay or Amazon(‘if you cant beat them join em’)selling some of your range via two very powerful marketing platforms.
-Put ‘Buy this item Online’ QR Codes (codes that people can scan in with their smartphones) up on point of sale materials linking to your website or online Amazon/Ebay Store. These show the customer you trade online as well.That will give customers the impression that you are competitive on price with any rival.
-Offer click and collect as well as delivery.Click and collect is a massive growth area in online retail.Customers often prefer the convenience of collecting the goods when they are passing rather than waiting in for a delivery.’Click and Collect’ will raise footfall and gives you the opportunity to up sell in person.
-Embrace Social Media as the best way to interact with your customers and drive more sales to your shop.All top online retailers use Facebook,Twitter,Pinterest and other Social Media channels to engage with prospects and convert them into a sale.
There are many other hints tips and suggestions to help so for more information contact us for a free consultation.