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Good News for Independent Business Owners in the UK

According to research by a UK-based marketing technology specialist, the future is looking bright for Britain’s independent shop keepers over the coming five years.  After so many years of decline on the High Streets in cities, towns and villages across the UK, there is a boom on the horizon for small, independent retailers. 

We’ve seen some of the largest retailers closing their shops across the UK over the past couple of years, a result, some say, of the rush by consumers to do their shopping online.  Debenhams, House of Fraser, Toys’R’Us and other giants have been closing flagship stores across the land, to say nothing of the fact that even Marks and Spencer, one of the UK’s best loved brands, is planning to close more than a hundred of its outlets by 2022. 

From a small to medium retailer’s perspective, this looked as if the future was full of doom and gloom.  After all, if big business is feeling the pinch and closing down shops, what hope does the independent retailer have of surviving?  Well, it seems as if things are looking up for the independents as research reveals that consumer are now three times more likely to choose to shop at an independent store, rather than in a large shop.  This leaves an opportunity wide open for independent retailers who have the foresight to grab this opportunity with both hands and make it work for their business.

Whilst almost a quarter of shoppers surveyed were not surprised to see large retailers closing their doors, citing a failure to offer a personal touch as one of the reasons for this.  However, more than 40% of shoppers believe that independent retailers need to provide a better online shopping experience.  This means that independent shops need to offer better online shopping tools, in addition to their existing in-store experience.

For a small to medium retailer, offering an online shopping option makes sense in so many ways.  Not only will existing local customers welcome the extra convenience that an online shop provides, this is likely to result in an increased customer base as a wider audience is reached.

Nearly a third of consumers believe that independent online retailers should be making a name for themselves online and improve how widely they are known through advertising and marketing.  For an independent retailer, this may seem like a pretty tall order, especially for those who don’t have the time or technical skills to take care of marketing and SEO activities. 

This is why any independent retailer who wants to expand their business online (or offer their products online for the first time) should call in the experts.  A website design agency can not only provide your business with a professional online shopping outlet, but most offer an ongoing service taking care of all of your internet marketing needs – SEO, email marketing, social media marketing, etc.  There will be a monthly fee involved in this, but it’s a much cheaper option than hiring an expert to do this for you on an ongoing basis. 

Any independent retailers who have spent the past couple of years worrying about how their business can stay in business can now put their worries behind them.  Not only are you likely to stay in business, taking your business online is an ideal opportunity to expand.