#10things on accessing funding to grow your retail business
In this climate, small and medium-sized retailers need to ensure they have the right tools and capabilities in place to not only attract new customers, but to then provide an outstanding experience, says Tom Stuart, Lulalend chief marketing officer.
The current global economy is having a cascading effect on retailers, which is felt through rising interest rates, inflation and supply chain challenges. In this climate, small and medium-sized retailers need to ensure they have the right tools and capabilities in place to not only attract new customers, but to then provide an outstanding experience, says Tom Stuart, Lulalend chief marketing officer. This is why:
1. Use funding to strengthen their business: Investing in needed resources can be the difference between competing effectively in a crowded and increasingly pressured market, or falling by the wayside. Alternative lenders are well positioned to help as they have less stringent application requirements and faster turnaround times than traditional banks.
2. Access the finance needed to invest in areas to take on larger competitors: smaller retailers often lack resources to compete with bigger and more established players. Through working with a business funding partner that understands their market and their business, they can level the playing field.
3. Secure stock for busy sales periods: Stock availability is obviously critical to satisfying customers. With a global scarcity of many popular items, and supply chain disruptions on imports, it’s important to secure the stock you need as early as possible. This means buying in bulk to avoid potential delays with top up or repeat orders.
4. Taking out short-term loans with deferred repayment options: Since buying in bulk often requires large upfront payments, with a longer wait period until the stock generates a sales return, this is where retail SMEs manage their cash flow through the peak season.
5. Digitise your retail business: Digitisation is crucial for retailers to adapt to the needs of their customers. Not only does this help reach more customers who increasingly want to transact online, but it can also drive increased efficiency in the business. Developing the right ecommerce capabilities, with the relevant payment and delivery options is no longer optional.
6. Developing and growing a brand presence online is critical to drawing customers to an online store.
7. Launch a digital marketing campaign: Once an online presence is established, a digital marketing campaign will be required to reach what could be a much broader group of customers.
8. The benefits of digital marketing over traditional advertising include the set up and execution of campaigns being quicker and cheaper, and the results are much easier to measure.
9. Enhance your retail space: Visual updates and upgrades to a retail space can help draw customers back to a physical store, helping balance out the rise of ecommerce. Through investing in lighting and developing creative spaces in the business, customers can feel welcomed and have a heightened sense of direction.
10. Strengthen relationships with customers: There are many ways that SMEs in the retail sector can strengthen their position. Business finance offers long-term benefits to retailers, not only in terms of growing the bottom line, but also in helping develop and strengthen relationships with their customers.
Main image credit: Pixabay.com.
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