You don’t need to look far to see stories of an ailing British high-street. Town centre vacancy rates have reached 10.3%, big name retailers are going bust and footfall is down. It’s not all doom and gloom though, many retailers are bucking the trend and showing that it’s possible to thrive even in the harshest of conditions.
Let’s take a look at what they’re doing and how they’re succeeding.
1. Staying ahead of the pack
No matter what kind of retailer you are, competition is fierce within the industry. To hang onto your customers and attract new ones, you need to be offering something shoppers can’t get elsewhere. Clothing retailer Zara stays ahead their competitors by delivering on-trend fashion fast, at a reasonable price, whilst delivering a high-end brand experience.
How does Zara achieve this? They manufacturer most of the clothes it sells itself, rather than outsourcing to countries like India or China. This allows them to update their ranges every week, not just every season, so there’s anyways something new for fashion-hungry consumers. It also means they can keep up with online fashion retailers, such as Boohoo and ASOS.
2. Connecting with their audiences
It would be easy to assume retailers like Primark are doing so well thanks to their low prices, but there are plenty of low-end retailers than aren’t succeeding. Primark are head and shoulders above their competitors because they know their audience and what they want. They stay on top of trends and partner with big brands to deliver quality products, quickly and at a low price. For example, when a new Disney film comes out, Primark is there with officially licenced products ready for shoppers to scoop up before they sell out.
Primark’s relationship with their audience is reflected in its astonishing Instagram following – it boasts more than 7.5 million followers!
3. Stand up for what they believe in
In an age where ethical issues are more important to consumers than ever, a brand with strong ethics can create a fiercely loyal customer base. Lush are a great example of this – not only are their products made in the UK and are animal and environment-friendly, they’re also not scared of getting political. Their campaigns may be controversial at times, but they always catch the attention of the media and get Lush’s brand in front of new and existing customers.
If you have a brand that stands for something, you need to back it up with action. You can’t say you care about the environment and then continue to use products packaged in single-use plastic, so think carefully, and make sure you stay true to who you are.
4. Keep costs and prices low
As Britain enters a new age of financial uncertainty, more and more consumers are becoming conscious of what they are spending. They don’t want to spend more than they need to on the basics, as they need to keep costs to a strict budget.
Home stores, such as B&M, are fighting the slump by offering big brands at low prices. How do they do it? By selling everyday products, such as teabags, in bulk and keeping rents low by choosing store locations that are away from expensive town centres.
Like Primark, they jump on trends and partner with big brands such as Disney and Game of Thrones, as well as promote limited-time bargains that are guaranteed to bring customers into stores. Of course, not every retailer can afford to operate on thin margins, but when it’s done well, it can lead to huge profits and a very loyal customer base.
Need help fighting the slump?
Whatever you plan to do to win over customers and get ahead of the competition, you must understand how your current customers feel and what you need to do to keep them loyal to your brand. Real feedback, from real customers, can help you do that and so much more. Get in touch with our friendly sales team today to see how reviews can help your retail business succeed.