27th October 2017 - No Comments!

Are Independents a Dying Breed?


It’s true, it is a lot tougher out there for the Independent, but it’s not a lost cause.

I’ve recently seen a great store close its doors; one that’s been serving the local Ilkley community for years and now felt it couldn’t carry on. That’s a real shame, as this is a cycle store serving a local community with one of the biggest cycling clubs in the UK, if not the biggest. So if a store with as large a customer base on its doorstep fails, where did it all go wrong?

The local cycling club has over 1,000 subscribed members, and 1,800 active Facebook followers. So with this rich pool of customers on your doorstep, how did this store fail? Unfortunately fail it did, but it could have been such a different story. The store in question failed to embrace this community and the wider cycling audience online; it didn’t offer them a point of view, or a platform to share conversations and ideas. It just put a site live and hoped they would come…a field of dreams!

Too many retailers are simply not embracing the opportunities online channels provide, so it's no wonder so many are finding it tough, or even forced to close their doors. If you have a shop it's there for a reason, you had an idea, you had the passion and drive to get it off the ground, so share this idea with the world, you never know, they might just like it.

The fundamentals of all online marketing are market knowledge and interesting content, without this understanding you don't have a business model. Rather than waisting man hours following the crowd work out what makes you unique and what you have to offer the market.

Tell the world why you stock those hand made socks produced by Bert who’s a third generation sock maker. Why you travelled 300 miles to see Bob about stocking those hand made candles he and his family have been producing for over 100 years. People are interested if you find the right people to talk too, and that's the trick. Do your homework, put in the hours of research and find the bloggers and people on Facebook talking about socks and simply start the conversation.

If you don't, then your competition will. So what are you waiting for, open your online doors and say welcome to my store, how can I help you…

If you would like to talk to me about ideas on how you can tap into your local customers, then here’s my email, matt@vastdigital.co.uk


Published by: Vast Digital in Uncategorised

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