Being in retail in the current climate is tough. The rise of the online consumer and a drop in footfall across the UK’s high streets, has led to a decline in the prosperity of the UK retail sector.
Consumer confidence and spending affects the retail sector, as does the weather. Beautiful sunny days like the ones we’ve had over the summer will provide an increase in sales of garden furniture, BBQ foods, summer clothes and other warm weather related items.
However, the sunny skies spell doom for interior companies, such as furnishings, fire, kitchen and bathrooms as everyone is looking to their garden’s for inspiration, the house can wait.
So how do Retailers bring back the customer? How do they take control in challenging times?
The most obvious suggestion would be to ‘Get Online’, but this is not the only option. Here we explore how UK retailers can get the customers back in store and generate an upturn in their profits.
Create an experience
Consumers today need extra stimulation, they want experiences… If you are a retailer that can connect an experience to the purchase of material things then you have a unique proposition.
How does this work in practice? An interior design company that creates room sets and offers wallpapering demonstrations and “ask the designer” coffee mornings, offers more than the company who solely has products on shelves. Getting the customer involved, touching and feeling the products and giving them something in addition to just a simple transactional exchange, gives them an experience as well as something to remember you by.
Don’t limit digital to online
Bring the digital experience to the shop floor, are there more choices and styles available than you have in your shop? If the customer could view them on a Tablet or Digital Screen would it improve the shopping experience?
The big high street retailers do this already but think about the difference it would make to the boutique retailer if they only had one size in stock but you can order more online but instore! This could keep your stock levels down but increase orders…Cool huh?
The way in which digital technology can be used in a retail environment is endless, from augmented reality to simple online ordering, why not ask your customers what they want to see?
Let the customers guide your growth
Just because you sell tools doesn’t mean that’s all you can ever sell. The trick to continued and sustainable growth is to ask and listen to your customers. What are their needs and wants? What do they think you could do to improve the store? How can you increase sale, or attract more people in?
Are your products high value? Would your customers benefit from you offering 0% finance for 12 months? Ask them…Unless you ask them you will never know and if you’re not asking them someone else is.
Always remember that people buy from people so make sure your customer service is top of the list!
These hints and tips have been developed from our experience of supporting retailers to use finance products that enable them to increase sales, improve their businesses and move with the times.
We can provide retailers with access to retail finance options which allow them to offer Interest Free 0% Finance for 12 months to their customers. This can spread the cost of higher value purchases for a consumer and often increase order value.
We have also provided unsecured loans for retail refurbishment, asset finance for the purchase of digital POS equipment and support through the process of purchasing commercial premises with a mortgage.