Your Customers are Changing Retail @cybertillretail #IndieRetail

Your customers are changing retail. They are changing how they browse and how they shop and this is changing retail. They browse and shop when they want on their phones or iPads, from their beds, in their offices, on the street and even in-store. They often share what they’ve bought online with their friends and where they have bought it from. Over 26 million people shop online in the UK and over 50% of smartphone owners are using their phones to shop.

So what does all this change mean for independent retailers?

Firstly, it is a huge opportunity for them. Secondly, retailers will have to embrace technology to truly shine. For many this is the scary part, but it does not have to be, indeed it can be quite simplistic. After all consumers are embracing technology and it is this symbiosis of ‘consumer’ and ‘technology’ that are driving these changes.

Retailers Need To Be Active In Social Media

The days of indies having a store and an ecommerce site and these two being sufficient are ending. Why? Firstly, because consumers use their phones to browse and make purchases online. If retailers don’t have a mobile ecommerce site (m-commerce) then consumers will simply browse and buy elsewhere. Have you tried navigating a traditional website on your phone and then looking at one optimised for a mobile phone, the latter is so much easier. Secondly, retailers need to be active in social media – Twitter, Facebook and so forth. Having a Facebook page and Twitter account is not enough they have to be used regularly and retailers have to build their audience. There are some really simple tactics for getting customers to follow you on social media. Such as, offer customers £1 off the total of their purchase on your ecommerce site if they ‘like’ your Facebook page or follow you on Twitter.

Research has shown in the past year web-based email usage dropped a staggering 59%

Social media is critical, it’s how many consumers communicate with one another. Research has shown in the past year web-based email usage dropped a staggering 59% among 12-17 year olds, who prefer to communicate via text, instant messaging, and social networks. Now 12-17 year olds probably aren’t your primary customers, you may think, “So what? They’re just kids.” But web-based email usage has been on the decline among ALL internet users under the age of 55. And by the way, today’s kids are tomorrow’s customers — and they’re probably not going to be reading your email – have social media is critical to the success of today’s ecommerce sites.

EPOS systems are a great way to control the store, the ecommerce and all other multi-channel activities

How do indies control their store, ecommerce and social media? A good starting point is an EPoS system that seamlessly manages stock, store and the ecommerce site(s). A good system should allow retailers to also sell stock through eBay and Amazon. But more importantly they should come with social media applications. Examples of this include the ability for customers to share what they have bought with their friends online and the ability to create ‘wish lists’ from your website and share with friends and family on social media, ideal for birthdays and other special occasions.

Retailers need to remember that consumers don’t see stores, e-commerce, m-commerce, epos systems: they don’t distinguish between a retailer’s different sales channels. They think about shopping, products, service, convenience, price. A good system will combine the store, ecommerce and social media so retailers can seamlessly manage all their channels whilst giving the consumer a seamless shopping experience.

This blog was written by Cybertill Retail, who have grown from startup to major provider of retail EPOS systems. They work with many smaller, independent retailers and understand the differences between smaller businesses and major chains. For more about Cybertill see http://www.cybertill.co.uk/

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About Clare Bailey

Clare Bailey, The Retail Champion (formerly Clare Rayner), is one of the most well-known and respected retail experts in the UK. With unrivalled knowledge in retail, high streets and consumer matters, she offers unbiased, independent content – whether engaged as a professional speaker, for broadcast media, or for a written feature. Clare is a business woman, entrepreneur and founder of several small businesses. Having been born into a family of successful business owners, it was inevitable that she’d eventually jump off the corporate treadmill and step out on her own! Today her brand portfolio includes The Retail Champion, The Retail Conference, the Future High Street Summit and the Support for Independent Retail campaign. In addition, she is co-founder of Mobaro Retail UK and a non-exec director of Beed Virtual Assistant Services. Having started her career as a fast-track store management trainee for McDonalds, she went on to work with leading retailers such as M&S, Dixons and Argos. She moved swiftly into management roles before being headhunted into senior consulting roles with global software giant SAP, and international management consulting brand, Accenture. Her corporate background in senior retail, consulting and technology roles, coupled with her experience of creating and running her own business, has enabled her to be equally capable whether consulting to global brands or micro businesses. This unique blend has not only positioned her as a leading expert in all things retail, but has enabled her to add meaningful commentary and insight to the debate around the future of the high street, and, how technology is driving fundamental change in the way consumers, and businesses, interact. Clare has become an influential voice in her field, which has resulted in her becoming a regular media contributor and sought-after conference speaker. Often seen on Good Morning Britain, BBC Breakfast, Sky News, and Chanel 5 (to name a few), Clare speaks on a myriad of retail, high street and consumer issues – but is particular adept when it comes to explaining the context behind retail trading results, newly released data, and government stats, in a palatable and informative manner. In addition to broadcast and conference speaking, Clare is the proud author of two best-selling business books published by Kogan Page - The Retail Champion: 10 Steps to Retail Success, published July 2012 and How to Sell to Retail: The Secrets of Getting Your Product to Market, published February 2013. She has provided contributions to various academic texts, including Retail Marketing Management (published by Pearson). With an engaging, conversational yet informative style, Clare writes for press and content agencies, providing features, articles, blogs and opinion pieces as well as contributions to white papers and reports. However, when the situation demands a more serious style, Clare can deliver - In 2016 she wrote an extensive report for a major insurance and risk law firm, as a retail expert witness, to support a public liability suit. She found that project particularly enjoyable as it played well to her strengths – assimilating large amounts of data and information, identifying the key points and articulating that in an understandable manner. When not on TV or speaking at conferences, Clare’s “day job” sees her supporting consumer-facing businesses through her consultancy services. When asked to describe what she most loves about retail consulting it is typically the opportunity to “dig deep”, getting “under the bonnet”, in order to leverage the business data to uncover the insights that lead to “lightbulb moments”. She also loves working on business change programmes that centre on improving the processes and systems to increase profitability by supporting more rapid, better informed decision making, improving the customer experience, or simply by become more efficient and streamlined. In this respect she considers herself a “business engineer” with a brain that works like a relational database! Due to her years of experience, her logical, objective approach, her quick, rational thinking, she is known for being able to cut through complexity, seeing right through to the crux of issues, finding creative solutions that others may have overlooked. As if all that wasn’t enough, Clare is a working mum, juggling a home life in rural Lincolnshire with her partner, their 5 kids, 4 cats, and geriatric Labrador! For all enquiries, contact Clare directly on 01727 238890 or email champion@retailchampion.co.uk.
This entry was posted in Independent Retailer Month - Blog-a-day for #IndieRetail and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Your Customers are Changing Retail @cybertillretail #IndieRetail

  1. Pingback: A blog-a-day for #IndieRetail | Clare Rayner: The Retail Champion

  2. Pingback: A blog-a-day for #IndieRetail – review of the past 8 days | CTS Blog

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