Trends & Features

2014: the year of ‘the shop and the website’

2013 has been and gone, but was it an important year for independent sports retailers?

I think it was critical in signposting to indies what they must be doing in 2014. This thought is based on some startling statistics.

72 per cent of UK consumers now own a smartphone, of which half used their phone to check product availability and buy products in 2013.

People aren’t just buying online in growing numbers, they’re buying on their phones too.

What about 2014? I believe there are three main challenges for indies this year:

• Get an ecommerce site. If you have one already, great, you’ve got a head start. If you haven’t, then start planning one now.

• Promote your website – make sure people can find it.

• Offer your customers live stock levels in-store and online. This will help you manage your business and increase sales.

The consumer is also changing.

They are no longer willing to wait at home for online deliveries. For example, click and collect has become a huge growth service for retailers.

Consumers now expect a multi-channel retail experience from indies as well as multiples.

What exactly is multichannel retail? Essentially, it is selling your products from your store or ecommerce website simultaneously.

With real-time data you can operate multiple sales channels seamlessly and offer the same services larger retailers offer their customers.

It might sound complex but in fact it is quite easy.

For example, with web-based EPoS and ecommerce systems like Cybertill you can sell in store and online seamlessly.

It gives you the real-time data and makes managing your store and website straightforward.

Here’s to a prosperous, multichannel 2014 to one and all.

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