At Marjo we are getting a little bored of the doomsayers in the media constantly reporting that the world as we know it is over because of the credit crunch. So we have decided to bring a little ray of light to the party by giving you some good news and advice concerning what we believe you should do to prepare for the inevitable up turn in the economy.
Light at the end of the tunnel
Retailers have always stood up to previous recessions and the best have later prospered in the end, so what can we learn from them?
Increased competition for shoppers has forced the development of more sophisticated marketing techniques, and put more focus on the shoppers buying habits and trends.
By employing the use of computers and surveys to capture data you can acquire a greater understanding of your shoppers. Using this knowledge to provide a more tailored approach for your consumers you will in turn retain more of their business and increase average basket sizes.
Looking at the internal structure of your business you will be able to drive down the costs of trading. Streamline the supply chain (order more frequently with less quantity and work with suppliers to expedite your orders). Also, eliminating unnecessary expenses, and strengthening relationships with suppliers, will enable you to make a greater profit from the same turnover, or reduce prices and increase your market share.
So what do we do now?
The current situation has left us with low consumer savings, high unsecured debt, and falling house prices, so the retail landscape will not be the same in the future as it was a few years ago. But if we are able to implement now the lessons from the best retailers we will be in a better position to respond in the future.
Marketing & Promotions
You can increase sales from studying your core customers, building a database and targeting them with relevant offers. Who are they, what do they want, and are you offering the right products at the right prices.
Every aspect of your store says something about you, and gives an impression to the shopper. Try and make small changes to the store’s appearance, and your customer service, to make the shoppers want to come back again and again.
Learn from your competitors
When was the last time you had a look at your competitors and had a “dispassionate” assessment of their strengths and weaknesses? Learning from them will help improve your business and win more business.
Take a small amount of time every now and again from your business to work on your business. Look at some of the above points and keep on top of the competition.
The good news!
Tourism on the rise
With the pound down against other major currencies, the UK is expecting a surge in tourism this year as more travellers from the Euro zone and America can afford to travel here, and spend the all important dollars and cents.
Also, UK residents are increasingly looking to stay here for their holidays as it is now more expensive to go abroad, and the temperatures are always rising any way. So, retailers in tourist driven locations should expect busy periods ahead.
Growth of the Internet
Every year we hear of the new record high Christmas sales online and now is a great time to take the plunge and become a multi-channel retailer. Your shoppers can buy your products from the comfort of their arm chair, and you can also acquire new customers without moving from yours.
Be clear of the purpose of your site though; is it transactional (selling/buying) or just an information hub. The quality of your website will speak volumes about your business, so do not neglect this part of the process either.
If you would like any advice on starting a website, then you can read our free article on creating your first jewellery website.
London resists the crunch
The BRC have reported that the UK and Scotland are down 1.8% as a whole (like-for-like) in the first quarter of 2009, but London alone had a staggering growth of 5.9% in like-for-like sales compared with a year ago.
Generally attributed to a greater exposure to higher net worth individuals and wealthy tourists, this is hopefully a sign of the predicted trend mentioned earlier regarding UK based tourism in the near future.
Thank you for reading this our first newsletter. We hope you found it interesting.
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