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How to Increase Sales Conversion – Part 1

How can you increase your conversion rate? It’s a question every salesperson asks. Over the last 12 months, Covid-19 has disrupted many of the usual techniques employed to maximise sales; face masks make it harder to gauge body language and read facial cues, social distancing and non-essential shop closures put paid to many face-to-face interactions. But with a route out of lockdown looking possible, it’s time to polish your sales technique once again.

Use these top three tips to boost your conversion rate:

1. Make time to talk

Life is busy. You can lose leads through something as simple as catching people at a bad time. Even if the customer wants your product or service, try selling to them while they’re cooking dinner, driving, working or putting the kids to bed and you’re not going to get anywhere. Timing is key to conversion.

Thankfully, this kind of situation is entirely avoidable with simple booking systems, diary management and calendars. 

Get organised

  • Let your customers choose a convenient time to talk. Use a calendar app like Calendly that enables people to book a mutually convenient slot. It can be shared via a link or embedded on your website.
  • Send email confirmation straight away. 
  • Send text reminders the day before or on the day to avoid no-shows and forgotten appointments.
  • Make setting yourself reminders a habit too. Never miss an appointment again.
  • Don’t book back-to-back appointments – always allow yourself time either side to prepare, or to seal the deal.

2. Know your USPs (Unique Selling Propositions) inside-out

Your potential customers need to know “why you?” – what sets you apart from your competitors down the road? 

Identify your USPs, write them down and really get to know them. Rehearse how you convey your USPs in your conversations. Practice with your family and friends to refine the way you describe your unique selling points – it’s crucial to keep it succinct and clear. And get them to ask you questions too so you’re ready to answer these from your customers.

Practice makes perfect – waffling and tying yourself in knots will confuse rather than convert people. You’re aiming to build trust and present yourself (and your brand) as knowledgeable, professional and genuine.

3. Follow up with quotes…

…straight away! After your sales appointment, don’t wait around for your hot lead to go cold! Send a follow-up quote straight away. You can do this with TradeQuote

TradeQuote allows you to generate quotes and email them to your customer (and automatically to yourself).

Putting all the information in writing allows your customers to peruse at their leisure, revisit the quote as many times as needed and reach a purchasing decision.  

The three tips above combine to make an excellent customer experience. Increase conversion by making it as easy as possible for people to buy – from seamless booking to easy-to-understand quotes and payment options.

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3 Consumer Spending Trends for 2021

The coronavirus pandemic has changed our lives and consequently our spending habits. Here are three of the biggest consumer buying trends for 2021. 

What are consumers spending money on?

  • Home gyms

Due to closure of gyms and sports facilities over the winter lockdown, many people are buying home gym equipment and dedicating space to home gyms. The coronavirus pandemic has drawn attention to the need to stay physically fit. After all, staying active is proven to boost mental wellbeing.

  • Home offices

Working from home is now the norm, but before the pandemic, most people didn’t need a home office. Beyond Covid, many companies will continue to offer a hybrid model, with people working from home some of the time for the foreseeable future. For long-term WFH, a purpose-built workspace increases comfort and productivity.

  • Large-scale home improvement

Being stuck at home for months on end has likely brought a few things to your attention – for example, how efficient is your heating system? We’re not used to having to heat our homes for the bulk of each day. After all, many of us worked in an office or workplace that would take care of this for us.

Similarly, we are not used to our homes having to meet so many needs (for all occupants) simultaneously – home office, playroom, gym, bar, classroom etc. This change has forced people to reassess their use of space and we’re seeing a shift away from the open-plan living trend of the last couple of decades in favour of a new trend – zoning.

  • Gardens

Outdoor space is a priority for consumers who have returned to gardening as a lockdown hobby, or have transformed gardens to provide a much-needed space for relaxation, adding luxuries like hot tubs and tiki bars.

Shopping online vs in-store

It’s not just what we buy that has changed but also how we shop. Ecommerce was already growing steadily, but shop closures, social-distancing and mask-wearing accelerated the shift to online shopping. In the digital, always-on culture, we’re used to browsing and shopping on smartphones 24/7.

Increasing demand for consumer finance 

The last year has changed what we buy, how we shop… and also how we pay. The pandemic has affected people’s finances to varying degrees – the public has dealt with furloughs, panic buying, job insecurity and economic uncertainty. This, in conjunction with changing perceptions of finance, means a higher percentage of consumers are opting for a ‘monthly budgeting’ approach over traditional savings, using finance to purchase goods.

72% (of consumers) would be more likely to buy a high-value item if 0% finance was offered on monthly repayments – according to a survey by Barclays.  

With this in mind, offering credit to consumers can be an effective way to increase sales. It’s essential to keep up with consumer trends like the increasing demand for flexible payment options to stay ahead of your competitors and remain relevant.Find out if consumer finance is right for your business here.

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Top 5 Staycation Trends for 2021

With uncertainty over when and how we will exit lockdown, UK holidaymakers have had their usual plans thrown into disarray. At the time of writing, it is illegal for UK residents to go on holiday (at home or abroad). But, with vaccines bringing renewed hope for easing of restrictions this spring or summer, many are already thinking about 2021 staycations.

In the last week of January 2021, holidaycottages.co.uk saw bookings for the summer holidays up by 98% compared with last year. We’re all desperate to get away; what are the top 5 staycation trends of 2021?

Social distancing is likely to remain a priority this year and, as yet, we’re unsure when restaurants, pubs and cafes will be allowed to fully reopen. This means we will see many tourists swapping hotels and B&Bs for self-catering options. Here are five staycation ideas:

1 – Self-catering cottages/holiday homes

Renting a self-catering cottage or apartment provides a home-from-home holiday, giving you all the comforts you’re accustomed to, without a miniature UHT milk pot in sight! Thanks to Airbnb, the popularity of renting holiday homes has soared with a variety of properties to choose from – anything from a single room to a mansion. You can also rent unique places like windmills, pirate ships and hobbit houses for a once-in-a-lifetime break.  

2 – Caravans

Whether you own or rent one, caravans have long been beloved by Brits! Holiday parks offer all sorts of facilities from night-time entertainment and swimming pools to golf courses and children’s play parks. 

3 – Camping

Camping has always been a popular choice for families, offering low-cost breaks all over the UK. Armed with just a few essentials, you can pitch up your tent and embrace the great outdoors.

After a year of Zoom calls, remote work, and heavy reliance on technology, there’s real appeal to disconnecting our devices and reconnecting with nature. Camping is great for boosting wellbeing, confidence and problem-solving, as well as being a back-to-basics retreat from the demands of modern life.

4 – Glamping

For those too posh to pitch, there’s glamping! A rising trend over the last decade, glamping injects a little luxury into traditional camping with holidaymakers renting yurts, pods and cabins instead of putting up tents. Glamping is ideal for people who want to be close to nature, but also like to get a good night’s sleep whatever the weather.

5 – Luxury lodges 

Luxury lodges are spacious and comfortable self-contained cabins with all the mod cons. Luxury lodges usually come complete with hot tubs, log burners, kitchens and bathrooms. They give you the best of both worlds – often located in woodland or countryside for picturesque views and exploring the wild, but equipped with everything you need to unwind and indulge. 

Staycations are here to stay!  

COVID-19 has implications for international travel which means the staycation trend will stick. It also brought climate change into sharper focus. Even post-pandemic, many will be looking to reduce air travel and minimise our carbon footprints. Uncertainty over when restrictions will be lifted makes booking/renting holiday homes tricky. Buying a caravan or luxury lodge – an investment for years to come – will be an attractive option for holiday-lovers. 
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Best home improvements that add value to your home

If you are thinking about selling your property in the near future or simply want to increase its value, then you are likely to be considering which home improvements are going to offer the most value for money.

With that said, here are some of the best renovations for adding maximum value to your home:

Divide the property into flats

Converting your house into flats is extremely popular in metropolitan areas like Manchester, London, and Leeds. This is because demand for flats is greater and so they tend to be easier to rent out. Dividing a property into separate residences can often help multiply rental income and maximise profits on the sale.

However, prior to committing to this type of renovation, make sure to check whether there is a high demand for flats in the location of your property. If you find larger properties are on the market longer than flats, it may be a sensible route to take.

Loft conversion to add an additional room

Adding a bedroom to your property can add a substantial amount of value, this is especially true if the extra room has its own en-suite. In many cases the loft can be converted, yet it is always advisable to get a professional to assess whether the loft is suitable for conversion.

If you are set on getting your loft converted, then it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the different types on offer. Common conversions include a roof light conversion, which is the least expensive, to a complete manscard conversion, which entails the construction of a new flat roof, providing a larger, more open living space.

Manscard conversion usually require planning permission, however, most loft conversion are regarded as permitted development. It is quite easy to find out what types of permission you require by contacting your local authority. In some cases, you will need to abide by certain rules, for instance, planning permission is needed if you wish to extend your roof space by more than 50m3.

Get a new bathroom

A new bathroom is a sure way to add value to your property, but the major downside is that it can be a substantial investment. Fortunately, there are ways to do it on a budget.

To make sure things do not get too expensive, try leaving your existing layout as is. Moving the pipework and water inlets may entail substantial labour costs. Other common ways to keep costs in control are to opt for a closed shower, rather than an open model, since these do not need to be installed to the wall.

Additionally, avoid wall hung basins and toilets and instead go for traditional floor-mounted models. The wall-hung variety require substantially more labour, since the brackets need to be enclosed and hidden within walls. You will also likely save even more money buy purchasing a suite rather than buying individual pieces.

Convert the garage into an additional room

A garage can be a handy thing to have, but the reality is that an extra room will usually add more value than a garage. So, if you find you are not using the garage and you have access to other parking space, then it may be worth considering.

If you are considering a garage conversion, then you will want to check if the garage is suitable for conversion and whether planning permission is required. The majority of garage conversions are classed as permitted development, so you will not require permission, yet it’s always worth seeking advice from your local authority.

Garage conversions are required to abide by building regulations to ensure they are structurally safe. To do this, you can seek inspection from your local authorities building inspection service or hire your own private contractor. They will need to make regular visits throughout the project, to ensure everything is being completed according to regulations.

Extend the kitchen

If you live in a terrace or small property you can usually make significant gains by extending your kitchen into the side return. This is the area which is defined as the full-width of your property, allowing you to add some valuable space onto your property.

The good news is that you can usually add a single-storey side-return extension without planning permission as it is defined as permitted development. This is on the condition that it meets strict requirements, for example, it must not be more than 4m high and not exceed half the width of the original buildings outlay.

However, bear in mind that you will still need to abide by building regulation codes and it will need to be inspected by the local authorities planning department, or a private contractor. Once inspected and if passed, you will be provided with your competition certificate. 

Upgrade your home heating

More and more people are becoming aware of properties efficiency rating and with good reason, since a building with poor thermal efficiency can cost substantially more to heat in the long term.  

If your home is poorly insulated, then the first step is to consider insulating your loft, since shockingly 1/3rd of heat can be lost via the roof with zero insulation. In addition, wall insulation can help prevent heat loss, as well as double glazing and draught proofing the property.

Fortunately, the government are now aware of this issue and in 2020, launched the Green Homes Grant, an initiative to help subsidise the cost associated with green home upgrades.

The type of boiler you use can also have a major impact on your properties heating bills and if outdated can result in the buyer asking for the amount to be deducted from the sale price.

Unfortunately, new energy efficient boilers are not covered by the Green Homes Grant, but you are able to take advantage of boiler financing schemes, that allow you to pay for the boiler in monthly instalments. For more information about the Green Homes Grant, you can refer to the government’s official website for details on the requirements and how to apply.

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When Should I Rebuild My Home Improvements Website And Where Do I Start?

In 2020 our lives and businesses changed. While the home improvement industry has largely proved resilient thanks to a surge in lockdown DIY, your small business might be feeling the pressure of the pandemic. Are you wondering how you can stay relevant in the ‘new normal’? Are you thinking about rebranding? Is your website in need of an overhaul? We share our tips in this blog.

Is my website outdated?

Just as home improvement trends come and go, so too do web designs. Remember when websites looked like this?! Times have changed and we’ve moved on. Most sites today are minimalist, with just a handful of pages, concise copy and a few carefully chosen images.

UX/ CX

UX (user experience) – sometimes called CX or customer experience – is the most crucial thing to consider when rebuilding your website. Visitors won’t stick around if your site is complicated and frustrating to use. 

A fresh perspective

When you’ve been using your website for a number of years, you’ll be used to the layout and how to get around it. To assess if your site is fit for purpose, you need a fresh perspective. Ask friends, family, customers, strangers for honest feedback on your site.

  • Is it easy to understand what you do?
  • Can they find what they are looking for?
  • Are products, services or prices clear?
  • Do they know what to do next?
  • Can your customers buy online? 
  • Is the checkout and payments process straightforward and pain-free? 
  • Are you offering flexible payments? 
  • Is your site fast and responsive?

Make sure your website is offering the level of service your customers expect. Consumer credit is an increasingly popular way to purchase goods with many consumers opting for Buy Now, Pay Later.

eCommerce 

The pandemic has increased a trend that was already in play – eCommerce. If your site is not yet ready for online shopping, you could be missing a trick (and a lot of sales). Customers today want convenience – and that means shopping online from the comfort of their homes. It’s easy to set up a simple online store thanks to platforms like WooCommerce.

Optimise for mobile

Another key factor you need to consider is the shift from desktop pcs and laptops to mobile. The majority of people are now browsing websites on their phones.

  • Does your site display correctly on a phone?
  • Are images or text appearing cut off?
  • Can people read your text?

Most website-building platforms allow you to view mobile displays – check it works! 

How to refresh or rebuild your website

Rebrand – make your website part of your business rebrand to bring your image up-to-date.

Map it out – just as you would group similar items on the shelves of your brick-and-mortar store, the same applies online. 

Start small – you don’t have to put everything online. Pick your most popular lines or services and start with those. 

Keep copy short and to-the-point – customers want just enough information to make a purchasing decision, not War and Peace by Tolstoy. 

Clear calls-to-action – help your customers do what you want them to do by giving clear calls-to-action. ‘Buy now’, ‘book here’, etc.

Flexible payment options – give your customers choice over when and how they pay. For more advice from Shermin on future-proofing your home improvement business, read this part of our business recovery guide.

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The Power of Outsourcing: Business Benefits

As a small business owner, it’s easy to find yourself overworked and overstretched. There are likely tasks you know you should be doing, but simply can’t find the time. Or there might be things that would improve your business, but fall outside your area of expertise. That’s when you should consider outsourcing.

What can I outsource?

You can outsource just about anything. Accounting and recruitment are two of the oldest and most commonly outsourced tasks for businesses. The outsourced economy has been growing rapidly over the past decade though, and now there’s a whole range of services offered by freelancers.

Here are just a few:

  • Social media management
  • Research
  • Diary management
  • Website design
  • App building
  • Database entry

What are the benefits of outsourcing?

Your time is valuable. There are only 24 hours in a day, and it can be impossible to juggle all the demands of running a home improvement business. Deciding whether to take on new staff, particularly during these economically uncertain times, is tough. Outsourcing can fill the gap when you need an extra person to help, but are not ready to commit to employing someone full-time. 

Outsourcing:

  • Saves time
  • Saves money
  • Gives you access to specialist knowledge
  • Allows flexibility – you can buy services as and when needed
  • Is not a long-term commitment
  • Frees you up to spend time on more important tasks

How do I outsource?

There are several ways to outsource work, but the most suitable depends on the services you are looking for.

Find a virtual assistant

Virtual assistants are generalists – freelance PAs who can help with all manner of basic admin tasks from email and diary management to mailshots.

VAs usually charge by the hour. Prices are typically £10-20 per hour and you purchase the number of hours you need either in a block or pay as you go.

You can find a virtual assistant on sites like PeoplePerHour.com and upwork.com.

Find a specialist

For one-off projects or tasks where you require a specialist, you can advertise on freelancer.com.

Simply detail the budget, requirements and qualifications you need and people apply, much like a job advert. You can then pick which candidate you want to award the project to. Freelancer is good for longer projects like building a new website, as you can create milestones, setting deadlines and paying in instalments at each stage of completion.

Use a company

For regular, repeatable tasks you can outsource to a company that specializes in that area.

This is good for outsourcing bookkeeping, payroll, or social media, for example. These are usually charged on subscription or monthly retainer. 

Outsourcing is an effective and efficient way to save yourself valuable time, money and stress. 
For further further actionable strategies to improve your home improvement business, check out: Shermin’s Post-COVID Business Recovery Guide

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How to Sell Online: A Beginner’s Guide to eCommerce

In the current climate with ever-changing coronavirus restrictions, your business must adapt. This is particularly true for businesses that are traditionally face-to-face such as boiler installers. Can you shift to selling online? Where do you start? Our guide covers the basics you need to set-up an eCommerce for your business.

Build a website

Thankfully, you don’t need to know how to code to build a smooth-running, great-looking website. Sites like Wix, Squarespace and Shopify make it easy to create and customise your online store. They also handle all the techy bits that you’d otherwise have to take care of yourself (or outsource to an expert).

  • Wix, Squarespace and Shopify are hosted (this means your site is stored by the platform)
  • You can choose and purchase your domain name within the platform
  • You can transfer an existing domain name if you already have a web address you want to keep
  • The platforms all have easy-to-understand SEO tools

How much does it cost?

DIY website builders are very affordable – Wix and Squarespace both have free versions, with additional features for paying customers. It’s a small investment to make to grow your sales. You won’t have to sell much before they’ve paid for themselves. For example, Wix VIP for business is only £22 a month, whilst Squarespace’s Advanced Commerce programme is £30 a month. Shopify is more pricey (even it’s basic package is $29/month) but it is designed specifically for eCommerce. These prices don’t count the cost of your domain name (about £15 a year).

Tip: you can often save yourself 10-20% by paying annually/ biennially

How do I start?

The beauty of these platforms is that they’re designed for people with no technical or coding knowledge, so they walk you through every step of the process.

  • Choose a platform
  • Sign up
  • Purchase your domain name
  • Pick a template
  • Add your company info/products/services
  • Set up your payment methods
  • Publish your site
  • SEO

UX – User Experience 

Your site should provide a great user experience for your customers. If it isn’t easy to find and purchase what they want, they’ll leave. A lot of people will look for a site that’s capable of accepting a range of payment methods, and for larger investments they will look to flexible payment options – give them choice. 

Things to consider when designing your site

  • Simple layout – your site needs to be easy to navigate.
  • Searchable – use tags and keywords for products and pages so customers can easily find what they are looking for.
  • Less is more – categorise your products and services and stick to a few main images per page. A cluttered site will overwhelm visitors.  
  • High-res photos – use high-quality product images with neutral/ no backgrounds.
  • Carousel images – allow visitors to view multiple photos in a slideshow format.
  • Contact details – make sure your customers can get in touch.
  • Chat – better still, add a chat feature.  

Don’t forget to link your social media accounts to your site as well.

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How To Get More Online Reviews For Your Business

Whether your customers purchase online or in-store, the internet plays a large role in most people’s purchasing journeys. Smartphones are ubiquitous, and for better or worse, it’s the norm to break out your phone and start scrolling mid-conversation, mid-Netflix, wherever and whenever the need takes you.

The technology in the palm of our hands keeps us connected 24/7 to the people, brands, products and services we want. Most importantly for you, it enables your customers to do their research before they buy. 

Why gather reviews? 

Your small home improvement business might not be the biggest player online nor the best-known brand, but your reviews can influence a person’s decision to buy (or not). Gathering reviews is an easy (and free) way to enhance your reputation, showing off your customer service skills and expertise.

Being open to feedback helps you build great customer relationships – it shows you care. It also allows you to get feedback that can help you identify areas for improvement, potentially alerting you to new opportunities your business can explore. Flexible payment options are an important part of buyer satisfaction.

The power of social proof 

Your own marketing can only convince someone so much. Of course you would say nice things about your product/company/service – you’ve got a vested interest! But when a customer corroborates your claims, it means more. When several do, the impact is amplified. That’s why reviews are valuable and worth building into your after-sales process. 

Getting more online reviews – If you don’t ask…

For most customers, once they’ve completed their purchase and received their goods or service, that’s the end. You’d be surprised, though, how many customers will leave a review simply because you have asked. Customers like to feel valued and listened to. 

How to ask for reviews 

Taking a direct approach can feel awkward, even desperate. It is far better to invite your customer to leave a review. How? 

Calls and chats – make it a habit to invite reviews when closing a conversation with your customers. 

Emails – embed links into your purchase confirmation or follow-up emails. 
Business cards – include details of your social channels on a compliments slip or business card with deliveries.

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Post-COVID Business Recovery Guide: Part 4

Marketing your home improvement business in 2021 

So far throughout this blog series, we’ve looked back at what we can learn from 2020, we’ve planned our 2021 business and sales strategy, and now it’s the turn of marketing.

Marketing is all about ensuring you get seen by your customers: not just any impression, but the right impression.

The Marketing RACE

Marketing activities can be broken down into these four key components:

  1. Reach
  2. Act
  3. Convert
  4. Engage

Together they make a handy mnemonic: RACE. Remember, you’ve got to RACE to get ahead. 

Reach

To reach customers you have to build brand awareness. Brand awareness means customers know about your company – who you are, what you do, what you stand for, as well as your products and services.

You need to make sure you have the right:

  • Branding
  • Value Proposition
  • Messaging
  • Tone of Voice

And that you can be seen in the right places. You can do this through a mixture of owned, earned and paid media.

‘Owned’ is anything belonging to your brand. For example, your website, social media profiles, store, vans and marketing materials like brochures.

‘Earned’ is your publicity and PR – from newspaper features to word-of-mouth recommendations and reviews from customers on social media sites.

‘Paid’ includes marketing like sponsored ads, TV campaigns, influencers, print advertising. 

Act

The Act stage is all about getting your potential customers to interact with your brand – browsing your website, liking your social media posts, making enquiries. This is where online presence really comes into play because customers are more likely to reach out if you are active on social media. 

Content marketing is useful for building a regular online presence and building your brand’s reputation by sharing relevant content tailored to your target audience. For the home improvement market, for example, this could be decorating trends or maintenance tips. 

Convert

This is where the magic happens – getting customers to convert (buy). Whether online or offline, there’s no point boosting traffic to your store if, when they get there, they don’t purchase anything.

 You can help boost conversion by providing:

  • Clear CTAs (calls to action) – make it easy for your customers to do what you want.
  • Convenience – your products should be easy to find, easy to research, easy to buy.
  • Choice – this applies to your product selection, but also to things like payment options and point-of-sale finance

Engage

Turn first-time buyers into repeat customers by continuing to engage with them. Don’t neglect them.

There are numerous ways to market to existing customers including customer satisfaction surveys after purchase, newsletter subscriptions, social media presence. But remember, your aim is to build brand loyalty, not spam your customers.  

Key Takeaways 

  • 2020 was rubbish, but it’s over now.  
  • 2021 is your chance to refresh your brand and come back stronger!
  • Plan – use this guide to create a robust business strategy for 2021.
  • Diversify your product offering, your services, your sales channels and your marketing.
  • Be open to new ideas. 
  • Keep up-to-date with what your customers need e.g. flexible payment options.
  • Make sure your business is agile and responsive.
  • Make positive changes to grow your business in 2021.   
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Post-COVID Business Recovery Guide: Part 3

Supercharge your sales strategy in 2021  

Once you’ve crafted your business strategy, your next step is to home in on your sales strategy. How are you going to get the edge over your competitors in 2021? Find out how to set your home improvement business apart from the crowd.

Diversify! 

One key way to beat the competition is to diversify: this could be product diversification, diversifying your sales channels, or both.

Finding new products that solve your customers’ problems will give you an advantage. As a retailer, you need to be in touch with emerging trends, new product developments and – perhaps most importantly of all – your customers’ needs.

  • Read industry-related news, blogs and thought leadership. 
  • Research new products, technologies and innovations.
  • Keep abreast of your competitors. 
  • Talk to your customers.  
  • Be open to change. 

New partnerships

A new partnership is a great way of diversifying your offering and bringing together natural-fit businesses and services to deliver better value to your customers. New partnerships provide an opportunity to pool your resources, expertise and customer-base. The right partnership is a win-win solution for both businesses and customers. 

A new partnership should:

  • Complement your current offering, not compete with it
  • Add value
  • Share your company’s vision
  • Enable you to reach new markets
  •  Help you achieve growth / scale

Post-COVID Customer Behaviour

COVID-19 has changed all our lives. While some of these changes will only be temporary, others are likely to stick for some time. It’s crucial to be mindful of how COVID has transformed your customers’ expectations and needs.

In 2021, we predict customers will continue to:

  • Be hygiene-conscious
  • Browse or shop online
  • Choose home delivery or click-and-collect options
  • Opt for digital payments over cash
  • Spend less time / make fewer visits in-store
  • Use social media to engage with businesses
  • Demand flexible finance solutions like Buy Now, Pay Later 
  • Pay attention to brands’ social and environmental policies

You need to have your finger on the pulse of all these factors and be proactive.

  • Keep your stores and staff COVID-secure with measures like distancing, strict cleaning protocols, hand sanitiser stations and one-way systems.
  • Invest in your website. Make it easy for your customers to find your site with SEO and make it seamless to browse and buy.
  • Leverage technology.
  •  Become a Shermin retailer to offer a range of consumer credit products.

E-commerce

Almost a third of all retail sales were made online in May 2020. If you’re not selling online you could be missing out on a significant percentage of sales!

Use:

  • Your own website – platforms like Shopify make it simple to create an online shop
  • Third-party marketplaces like eBay and Amazon
  •  Social media – Facebook and Instagram shops launched in May 2020

Building e-commerce into your sales strategy is a smart move, as people shop increasingly online, favouring the convenience of 24/7 shopping on whatever device they have to hand, whenever they choose.

Don’t be dissuaded if you’ve got a product that isn’t traditionally sold online e.g. boilers – this is the perfect time to be among the first to offer such a service. Being an early-adopter demonstrates that your brand is modern, tech-savvy and relevant, and will put you ahead of the game. 

Look out for part 4 of our 2021 Business Recovery Guide where we discuss the final pillar of your 2021 plan – marketing strategy!