Online sales

Big Shop Owners Living In Confusing Times.

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It used to be that the bigger a business got, it was generally judged to be operating more successfully. In the past big operations selling to the public grew even larger in some towns/cities to the detriment of a local small business owner. Today, the tables seems to have turned somewhat.

This week, businesses such as House of Fraser, (employs 11K in the UK & Eire) are in trouble. Poundworld also in the UK. Mothercare, Carpetright, New Look, Prezzo and more, also under pressure to close or downscale drastically.

This has come about due to still increasing online sales occurring rather than people stepping across physical doorways to enter a shop.

People such as myself (trained in marketing and I.T.) have been aware of this trend – especially since 2015/2016 when an important sales point was crossed. Then more sales was done in the UK and Ireland via the internet and online devices than traditional foot in shop methods. A 50% online sales threshold was crossed.

Ironically, as online sales have increased, it’s the more local smaller shops that offer niche items or far small SME’s, that now stand more chance of surviving the moving trend to online sales – if they do their own homework now.

The larger operations get, the more there is overheads. Smaller setups (if run right) have less of this to cope with. To survive, be a business be big or small, they MUST try moving at least part of their business (if not whole) to an online location.

This might be more difficult for some – such as your local family butcher or general newsagent – but others should make their online presence more visible if they are already online – and if they are not, they should get themselves online.

In a world where people are living faster, more complex lives, coping with many aspects and more of their time becomes even more limited, the idea that online buying from any location (even while on a brief work break), will continue to be attractive and thus sales through that method will increase while large physical stores will see a further decline in footfall.

The writing is on the wall. Both smaller setups and large must more seriously consider gaining an online presence or increasing theirs to one of online sales ability – not just letting people know you exist and no more!

To survive the still growing current trend, businesses MUST adapt.

Jeff Rudd.
www.clearandgraphic.com

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