Growing your business
High Street Retail vs/ Technology
It’s been an eventful year for the UK high street – what with the changing of business rates, the ever-continuous evolution of consumer behaviour and, of course, the cost-cutting action of several big UK brands including Marks & Spencer and House of Fraser.
It can be an unsettling space for retail trade but with the right strategy, mindset and financial support in place, you can head into the Christmas period with confidence in your business. That’s why this week we’re sharing just a few ways you can strengthen your business through the implementation of new tech and digital tools!
Sales: Embrace E-Commerce – and other Technology!
“The next decade will be a golden age for consumers, with technology-enabled shopping experiences giving them the simplicity, convenience and excitement they crave,” says Oliver Wright, managing director and global lead for consumer goods and services at Accenture Strategy.
As such, instead of viewing technology as the enemy, traditional retailers should be thinking about embracing it – as affirmed by the 350 businesses surveyed in our recent research, where 61% highlighted that having an online presence to compliment trading in-store has been a positive development.
Other than an e-commerce strategy that aligns with your brand's core values, it can be worth looking into other new tech that enables smoother digital processes such as go-cardless payments or EPOS stock systems.
Staff: Work for your employees as well as your customers
Creating the best consumer experience possible is all well and good, but a sole focus on this can lead to overlooking one of retails most important assets: staff. By utilising technology to assist with and improve your employee's daily routine, they'll automatically be better positioned to serve the customer.
But that's not all. Employee-facing technology can offer advantages in other areas of the business too, such as helping managers motivate their teams as well as raising productivity and engagement levels. If technology is part of a staff member’s personal life, it should also be front and centre at work.
POS software, such as Square and Vend for example, can make it much swifter and simpler for employees to be able to take and manage orders and deliver an efficient service. That makes life easier for the employee – with less paperwork and hassle – and enables them to keep customers happy too.
If technology is part of a staff member’s personal life, it should also be front and centre at work in helping them to do their do to the best possible standard. Nothing saps morale more than being forced to work with poor equipment – and bear the brunt of the issues for this.
Marketing: Extend your technology footprint to marketing
On the high street, many consumers will begin their purchasing journey by seeing something they like in a shop window and simply walking into the store. But online, it often begins by following favoured brands on social media, signing up to newsletters, and consuming interesting content before buying even comes into the equation.
Therefore, your technology footprint should also extend to marketing and include every stage of the sales funnel, as Matt O'Connor of Conversion Gods explains: "Think of marketing and copywriting in terms of systems and processes. It’s not just a VSL, or sales letter, that sells people. It’s the entire process of going from complete ignorance about you and what you offer to falling in love with you, wanting to become one of your tribe."
Check out our guide to building your online presence here. And remember, if you’re looking for some additional funding to support your marketing efforts why not try a Liberis cash advance; a simple, flexible solution that works to support your cash flow.
Retail and technology go hand-in-hand!
Any retailer that doesn't adopt a technology-first approach will continue to find themselves in trouble, falling behind changing consumer behaviour and purchasing trends. By thinking like a technology company – or at least embracing new resources - retailers can provide omni-channel shopping experiences that keep buyers coming back for more.