For years, the biggest threat to independent booksellers was the growth of online retailers undercutting them at every opportunity. The biggest culprit of all was Amazon, which caused uproar back in November2015 by opening a bookstore in Seattle’s University District.
Industry specialists were baffled – with the monopoly of the online book market, why bother with a small brick and mortar store? Could it be that the high street, long since declared dead by business and tech analysts, is showing signs of revival?
Current moves by e-commerce giants seem to suggest so, with companies like Amazon recognising the importance of a physical presence on improving marketing, sales and customer relations.
If your business has gained all the online success it can, then now’s the time to take advantage of the commercial property market and claim your place on the rejuvenated high street. We’ve shared our top tips for joining the high street revival and for making sure your move is a success.
Tip #1: Location, location, location
When you start your property search, you’ll soon notice that there are lots of shops to rent. The hard part is finding one in the right location for the right price. Using a trustworthy letting agents will cut a lot of the legwork, and make the whole process of finding premises much smoother.
Tip #2: Make the right first impression
You want your new premises to consolidate your brand identity and provide a welcoming environment for customers. You’ll regret any rush decisions, so spend time picking the colour scheme and planning the best layout of merchandise to save any costly makeovers in a few months’ time.
Tip #3: Spread the word with social media
If your business is successful enough to warrant a move to the high street, then you already have a great online following. Capitalise on this by throwing an opening night with freebies and special offers. Help word of mouth by creating a TripAdvisor page, and always respond to reviews or questions in a timely manner.
Tip #4: Use tech to boost physical and online sales
Implementing a click-and-collect scheme is a great way of getting customers through the door. Offer a cheaper rate than postal delivery and you could see a big increase in foot traffic. Omnichannel strategies are the latest tech advancement set to revolutionise the retail industry, and will take your business to the next level by delivering seamless customer service across all devices.
Dream big and view your first retail property as the flagship store of your future empire. Invest in it now and you’ll reap the financial benefits as your business goes from strength to strength.