The fourth blog in our series- Top Tips for High Street Business Survival- with expert Clare Bailey, AKA The Retail Champion. Referred to as a 'Walking Encyclopaedia of Retail', Clare is one of the most well-known and respected retail experts in the UK, with unrivalled knowledge on retail, high streets, and consumer matters.
Here, Clare takes you through the quickest and easiest ways to sell online right now…
This is the time of year to maximise all possibilities for selling seasonal stock before the magical Christmas gifting window passes, when the only way to shift it is by discounting.
So, while restrictions still impact in-person sales for High Street Businesses, it’s still a good idea to optimise your options for selling online. So what are the ways you can do this?
Your Own Website
The obvious way to maximise sales is to use your own website – especially if you’ve invested in it already. Bear in mind, there are only a couple of quick fixes that can really have an immediate impact. You may have heard of things like SEO, but realistically this takes about 3 months to really make a difference, instead focus on PPC and Social Posting.
Whether you have your own website or not, sites like Amazon, eBay, Etsy and others offer you a chance to very quickly promote your products to a whole range of customers who might never have found you in the real world.
Note, there are varying charges for using these platforms and these can be quite price competitive, but faced with selling nothing vs. selling at lower margins, you still may want to take advantage of these channels.
Different to sharing posts on your social media accounts, social selling represents the way that you can set up options to transact directly within social media platforms, such as a Facebook Shop and Instagram Shop.
If you haven’t looked into it already, it’s worth doing and definitely if you use Facebook/Instagram as your main online presence. It’s not that much different to other online marketplaces mentioned above, except they may offer an advantage for engaging more directly with audiences/customers. Like other methods, selling within these social platforms can also offer further opportunity to reach a wider range of consumers than through using your own website alone.
Whatever online techniques and platforms you use, the key message is to just to get on this as quickly as possible and maximise every opportunity you have to sell. We hope that reopening will be possible for all our local retailers soon, but whatever happens, these tools give you a way to reach customers and maximise your sales, during times of restrictions and well beyond.
For more Top Tips to help High Street Businesses during lockdown and beyond- see Clare’s blog series here: www.welcometosheffield.co.uk/makeyourselfathome/high-street-business-survival along with recordings of Clare's recent webinars on how businesses can continue to operate during lockdown restrictions.
As always, Business Sheffield’s team of advisors are available to support any businesses that need advice and guidance. Contact the team on 0114 224 5000 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org if you need to talk to someone about your business situation.