A New Year always creates passion for trying new things for yourself and your business. And it's no different at 9 Spokes! Some of our talented staff have been tracking trends over the previous year - and they've put together a list of what could really get your retail business pumping in 2017.
1. Subscribe to a New Demand
Just as many consumers prefer music on a subscription basis, millennials are increasingly keen on the subscription economy - willing to rent clothes and other products rather than buy them.
Tip: if your business's products or services lend themselves to being hired or rented, it could be a way to attract new customers and form a new revenue stream.
2. Deliver Goods Quicker
'Next day delivery' used to be a selling point, but now it's expected. To become even more competitive, some retailers are offering same day delivery by using third party specialist delivery services.
Tip: It may not be possible for you to offer same day delivery, but finding ways to speed up your purchase-to-delivery turnaround can really help increase sales and convert customers more quickly.
3. Turn Social into Sales
Facebook and Twitter feeds are increasingly populated with brands selling their products through video, live streaming and a more targeted, personal tone of voice. You can also start looking into other channels like Instagram and Pinterest to get your brand out there.
Tip: Consumers are now comfortable buying directly through Social Media, so if your audience and products suit these channels, making your business stand out on different social media channels can help your brand and your bottom line.
4. Embrace the Future
Driverless taxis, drone delivery and Artificial Intelligence for business are still some way off. However, the Internet Of Things (IoT) - which is products being more connected and remotely controllable - is here, especially with the rise of smart home technology.
Tip: Deloitte research* shows 66% of consumers believe the IoT can make their lives easier, so consider whether this is applicable to any of your products and services, and whether they could be make more attractive to customers by being connected in this way.
5. Be Even More Mobile
Most business websites should be optimised for mobile. But with mobile traffic roughly doubling year-on-year, your mobile site needs to sell effectively and simply .
Tip: Make the mobile use of your website a simple experience for your customers with easy navigation and quick purchasing with one-touch checkout.
6. Reward Loyalty
Loyalty programmes are no longer just for big retailers. Smaller businesses are beginning to invest in cost-effective loyalty programmes, which is helping to give them a point of difference, retain customers and increase sales.
Tip: Tailoring a loyalty programme to how often your customers interact with your site and how frequently they purchase is a great retention and sales tool.
7. Make Online and Offline Work Together
In the past, retailers treated their stores and websites as separate entities - but now the boundaries are blurring. Dynamic websites are delivering stronger brand experiences, and shops are being made more engaging through the increased use of technology.
Tip: Makeyour website a more welcoming and immersive experience, and use technology in-store to bring your products to life.
We hope that these tips give you inspiration for preparing and improving your retail business for the year ahead.
Wishing you a very successful 2017!
The 9 Spokes Team