Back in Business: Shop Reopening Retail System Checklist

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Many businesses have been shut for quite some time now, but now it finally looks like non-essential retailers will be able to reopen and start getting things back to normal. After the year that we’ve all had, this is great news, and workers everywhere (not to mention their employers!) are looking forward to getting back to their jobs.

That’s fantastic, but reopening a business nowadays isn’t as simple as switching on the lights and turning the sign round from ‘Closed’ to ‘Open’. After a prolonged shutdown like the one we’ve had to endure, reopening a modern retailer isn’t a quick task. This is especially true if you want to ensure that you will be able to serve your customers to the best of your ability as soon as you reopen. There are a number of steps you need to go through in order to make sure that all of your systems are still in working order after being switched off for so long. In this blog, we’ll be going through the tasks you will need to perform.

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Omnichannel Retail: The Basics

Online sales have been growing steadily, year-on-year for the last twenty years. Everybody assumed that 2020 would be no different and that this trend would simply continue. Of course, none of us had any idea what 2020 would have in store, or how it would affect the wider economy and how individuals and organisations can interact with each other and do business. It was predicted that online sales would grow by 11% in 2020. Instead, thanks to COVID-19, shoppers have had little choice but to do much of their purchasing online, and it is now thought that online shopping will have increased by 19% during 2020. We can’t know what next year will bring, but we can be sure that online sales will continue to grow and grow.

What does this mean for retailers? The massive increase in the amount and proportion of online shopping means that becoming an omnichannel retailer is more important than ever before. But what does ‘omnichannel’ actually mean? For this blog, we thought it would be a good idea to take a step back and revisit some of the basics, cut through the industry jargon, and help you see why ‘omnichannel’ isn’t just another buzzword that will soon fade away.

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On a street near you: How NearSt are getting customers back into the shops

It is received wisdom that the high street is dying. Customers are no longer going to bricks-and-mortar shops, and instead are buying almost everything online. Big chains have been able to move increasing amounts of their products onto their websites, but smaller businesses simply don’t have the resources to do this, and they are losing out. In 2018, almost 2,500 stores disappeared from the UK’s top 500 high streets, resulting in the loss of over 50,000 jobs. Covid-19 restrictions haven’t been helping of course, but even without those shopping online is much more convenient, and can be cheaper, right?

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Reaping the Rewards: Things to Consider when Setting up a Retail Loyalty Scheme

In-store loyalty card

Customer loyalty is one of the most valuable assets you can have, and engaged, loyal customers can be some of your brand’s most influential advocates. As such, it is well worth investing time and money in acquiring, consolidating and growing customer loyalty. Retail loyalty schemes are a powerful and proven way of doing this, and although there is a cost involved in setting them up, it’s an investment that will pay for itself many times over.

The benefits are many, as we’ve discussed previously, but ultimately the primary goal of any loyalty programme is to boost customer retention. In addition to this, they are an invaluable way of providing you with vital information about your customer base.

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