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Author: Andrew Dunne, Eurorpean Sales Man­ager at Integ­rated Worlds GmbH


“If you always do what you always did, you will get what you always got”

As the great Albert Ein­stein once said, “if you always do what you always did, you will get what you always got”.

For many inde­pend­ent loc­al retail­ers, large or small, CoV­id-19 has changed the beha­vi­our­al ways of con­sumers, if not forever then at least for the next num­ber of years. Med­ic­al and sci­entif­ic experts are pre­dict­ing lock­down are going to be part of the norm for the next couple of years at least until a vac­cine is found and admin­istered to the population.

For many inde­pend­ent retail­ers, the lock-down has meant lock-up. Lock the front door of the shop until restric­tions have lif­ted. But the big ques­tions for them is not going to be how many cob­webs there will be but how do I get back to trad­ing suc­cess­fully, what trad­ing rules will be in place, has my stock per­ished or is it still in fashion?

What will be the new normal?

Accord­ing to most, if not all, retail experts and con­sult­ants any shop own­er who is under the illu­sion that they will just unlock the door, clean the cob­webs and busi­ness will resume nor­mally will have big prob­lems. Con­sumer beha­viour has changed and with it, so will the beha­viour of the retail­er. Shop own­ers, as well as staff, are going to have to adjust their roles and become con­tent cre­at­ors, social-media man­agers, they will have to spend time doing devel­op­ing their digit­al pres­ence. They are going to have to con­nect with shop­pers in new marketplaces.

His­tor­ic­ally, for many inde­pend­ent shop own­ers they nev­er did this because they felt it was only the pre­serve of the large chains, who were backed up by large IT depart­ments to over­see, and change, con­tent. They felt e‑commerce plat­forms were very expens­ive or con­fus­ing to use and above all they didn’t feel that they needed too. But today this is wrong on all accounts. It is easi­er than ever to cre­ate, pub­lish and main­tain digit­al con­tent, cre­ate a num­ber of new ser­vices for your cus­tom­ers such as Click & Col­lect, Click, Reserve & Col­lect, Click & Deliver.

Tra­di­tion­ally, these were not ser­vices most loc­al inde­pend­ent retail­ers offered, for the reas­ons men­tioned above. But these are ser­vices loc­al retail­ers will need to offer to cre­ate loy­alty and repeat cus­tom in the future. If you do not some­body will. In order to sur­vive, a great­er level of engage­ment and con­nec­tions with cus­tom­ers will be required, this is eas­ily and afford­ably done over digital.

If you are pre­pared to adapt and change what you always did, well who knows what you might get!

“Com­ing togeth­er is a begin­ning, stay­ing togeth­er is pro­gress, and work­ing togeth­er is success”

One of Henry Ford many wise quotes “Com­ing togeth­er is a begin­ning, stay­ing togeth­er is pro­gress, and work­ing togeth­er is suc­cess”. This has nev­er been truer now for inde­pend­ent retail. The cre­ation of a retail­er com­munity and col­lab­or­a­tion with your, fel­low retail­ers in your com­munity, has nev­er been more important.

Rather than spend­ing money and expend­ing energy devel­op­ing an indi­vidu­al offer­ing, come togeth­er to cre­ate a town/regional “togeth­er is stronger” strategy. Does it make sense to have 20 retail­ers each spend­ing money for the same integ­ra­tion work? Does it make sense for 20 inde­pend­ent retail­ers to spend time mar­ket­ing their indi­vidu­al digit­al offer­ing? Most import­antly, does it make sense for your cus­tom­ers to have to spend their time going to 20 dif­fer­ent retail­ers’ site?

By com­ing togeth­er, offer­ing a sin­gu­lar digit­al touch­point for your town or region, cent­rally mar­keted to your cus­tom­ers you will cre­ate a suc­cess­ful retail pro­pos­i­tion for both you and your community.

As part of Integ­rated Worlds Cit­izen Con­nect plat­form for Smart Cit­ies and Regions, we help retail­ers achieve a strong e‑commerce pres­ence, devel­op com­munit­ies and much more.

For more inform­a­tion con­tact now