The takeovers and turnovers of big corporate businesses can often dominate retail news. Though large retail businesses with 500+ staff make up 69% of all annual retail turnover in the UK, smaller businesses are still significant on the high street.
Now we’re in 2018, what are the retail trend predictions set to direct spending towards small businesses? Here’s what your small retail business needs to know to grow this year.
Customisation For All Customers
Customers will respond well to a more personalised shopping experience in 2018, which extends from the in-store atmosphere to special offers sent through email, and beyond. In 2014, British bookshop chain Waterstones was in trouble, but new owner James Daunt began appealing to younger audiences, hosting more events with authors, and focused spending on the stores themselves, rather than head office. They’ve proven to be ahead of the customisation curve and grown when many thought they’d close their doors for good.
Smaller retailers can follow suit. Even inexpensive products need to be sold in an environment that really caters to the customer and whatever makes their buying process easier and more memorable.
An Online Presence is More Important Than ever
Having an ecommerce site is only the start of it. According to a PwC survey, 40% of shoppers are “heavily influenced after reading product reviews”, and that jumps to 84% of ‘millennial’ shoppers aged 18-24.
The most successful retail brands on social media are focusing on quality of posts rather than volume, getting 2.3x more engagement by spending time on great imagery, and using live forms of social media, like Facebook Live and Instagram Stories, to tell more stories about their brand and products.
Data Should Influence Your Decision-Making
Every business, large or small, collects customer data and can use it effectively. Your POS is a great place to start, and the cleverer the tool, the more detailed the analytics reports it can produce. Knowing when you’re busy, when you’re slow, and when your stock is about to run out can help you make smart decisions and gain insights.
Your website visitors also hold a huge amount of information that you can use. Test how they reach your site and at what point they leave. A basket recovery tool or plug-in is inexpensive, and gives you the option to follow up with a customer when they leave their items and change their mind. That’s 67% of online shoppers by the way…
Brick-and-Mortar Shops Are Still Going Strong
The British Independent Retailers Association reported that “more shops were opened than were closed in the first quarter of 2017”. This is a double-edged sword though, because it means customers are shopping, but you’re more likely to be competing for their business.
If you take at least £5,000 a month through your card terminal, a Capify Merchant Cash Advance can help you raise finance to pay for renovations, a more sophisticated POS or social media marketing. Whatever you need to make 2018 your most successful year yet, Capify could help you raise flexible finance to pay for it.
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