Our local high streets are in trouble with many small local businesses closing due to falling sales and increasing competition from supermarkets, chain stores and internet retailers. But it’s easy to blame external factors for business failure and, to their credit, many of the small retailers that I talk to are looking forward and want improve the way that they present their business. They understand that they have to differentiate themselves, demonstrate their expertise, engage with their customers and provide them with a great customer service experience.
For many small retailers, part of the marketing plan is to create a presence on the internet, usually starting with a basic website and occasionally moving toward on-line selling. So, imagine yourself as the owner of a small shop and try a few google searches for information on internet marketing. Plenty of articles that are short on practical advice, any number of internet marketing courses and a sprinkling of grand ideas. Much of this information also assumes a more than passing familiarity with the internet that many shop keepers don’t have, in my experience.
I think that what small, high street retailers need is more zero-based, practical advice on internet marketing. These businesses are hungry to capitalise on the potential of the internet to improve their reach and inform new and existing customers but they lack good information and help. There is still a big opportunity here.
Can you help by pointing to good resources for small retailers on internet marketing and how they can apply it? Links to articles, case-studies or events are much appreciated. If you have any please post them in a comment.