Having returned from being abroad for more than a month a half, I have the feeling very little back here in London has happened since mid July. Boris’ bikes are safely installed and I’ve spotted the odd Barclay’s bike out and about. But what has happened on the retail front?
Retailers appear to still be erring on the side of caution, but several of my stockists have used this time to expand their distribution channels by launching an online store to reach out to a new audience, as well as re-vamped their website and launched blogs and twitter profiles.
More and more people I meet are revealing planned new ventures in the online retail arena – what a visionary Natalie Massenet was 10 years ago.
As a brand that is definitely the next stage for us, as we have weekly requests from customers for direct sales. The benefits of an online shop are obvious, ranging from higher margins to customer purchase data to direct feedback, without the cost of bricks and mortar.
However, there is the challenge of an online marketing investment to drive traffic such as SEO, paid search, affiliate marketing and display marketing. As someone who knows very little about the above there appears to be a fortune to be spent without any guaranteed benefits. So finding the right tech team to work with in a targeted and responsible manner is key.
In my opinion there is a lot one can do in terms of social media such as generating awareness of the brand on Facebook, posting news on the website, as well as writing a brand blog to lay the e foundations around an e-shop or even just to raise brand awareness. Post launch it is much easier to measure any sort of impact from a campaign effort.
Back to school time is seeing retail businesses spruce up their web presence in time for the run up to Christmas.