Retailers: embrace new ways or lose sales

Retailers who have embraced digital and hybrid models of retailing are thriving while those that haven’t are falling behind, according to Simon Bodsworth MD of Daval Furniture.

He believes that having a proactive mind-set and deciding to change the traditional way of retailing has helped many businesses stay afloat during this time. However, those who have not been responsive are seeing a huge lag in sales leads.

Bodsworth, in a column in the July issue of kbbreview, outlined his thoughts on the two camps of kitchen retail.

He explained: “First up is the proactive retail camp, comprising UK independents who have fearlessly ‘leaned into’ the Covid situation and decided to just go for it. This growth mind- set is not only encouraging for the end user, but also motivates them to try something different and increase communication to both customers and suppliers.

“On the other side of the coin is the passive camp, where some retailers have been more accepting of the situation and less active in terms of generating leads and maintaining visibility with the end user.

“As they have not been sourcing new enquiries and laying the groundwork for new and repeat business during lockdown, there is a huge lag in sales leads. This, in turn, is creating a knock-on effect with a long-term impact on the sales cycle, which allows proactive retailers to monopolise the market.”

Bodsworth concluded: “So we can see that a passive approach is limiting cash flow, reducing market share and restricting the flow of new and existing clients, as well as business expansion. The passive retailer is doing more harm than good, rather than focusing on growth and development of output, staff, retail presence and online presence.”

Adopting a hybrid system of working with showroom appointments, when restrictions allow, and a secondary digital option for customers as well, appears to be a system that is working for many retailers, according to Bodsworth. These proactive businesses are gaining a monopoly within their area.

Bodsworth encourages KBB retailers to embrace the new way of working, blending physical and online retailing and sales.

Actively driving engagement and working with suppliers is another way that businesses can drive sales, suggests Bodsworth. He recommends that retailers should identify the core values for their company and send that message out to consumers.

Small independent retailers have can be more flexible, says Bodsworth.

He added: “A meaningful business, rather than one driven solely by profit and loss, is now a priority, and this is well communicated by the proactive retailers I work with.

“Smaller, agile retailers are taking more risks by being open to new business opportunities, experimenting with new business models and trying new communication tools. With more and more buying decisions being made online, the proactive camp are plunging into the digital world, increasing their brand storytelling, honing their social media activity and pre-qualifying digital leads.”

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