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18 Nov 2021

Technologyhas important effects on business operations. The ACT has partnered withDell to assist businesses in attaining quality up-to-date IT equipment and access specialist advice to...

8 Nov 2021

As trendy Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) services continue to grow in popularity across the UK, a charity has warned that using these non-regulated services can be like "slipping into quicksand"....

5 Nov 2021

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Cycling & Walking (APPGCW) have an upcoming meeting on Monday the 8th November at 16:30.

4 Nov 2021

The ACT is a supporting organisation of Road Safety Week 2021 to represent the cycling industry and encourage road safety for all who usethem.

4 Nov 2021

WithCOP26 taking place in Glasgow until November 12, here are some ways that you can evaluate your business to become more environmentally sustainable.

4 Nov 2021

The Government has launched a new Export Support Service to help UK businesses get answers to practical questions about exporting to Europe.

4 Nov 2021

The Scotland Cycle Repair Scheme was announced today by Patrick Harvie (MSP, Minister for ZeroCarbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants' Rights) at the Cycling Scotland Conference.

1 Nov 2021

ACT and ActSmart partner Global Payments (GP) will be contacting all customers to arrange the replacement of your terminal(s) to keep you up with modern requirements for no extra cost.

27 Oct 2021

The Budget and SR21 promised much for both the cycling industry and for retailers, but will it be enough to help recover the damage done from the pandemic and help sustain the cycling...

27 Oct 2021

During the Maybe* monthly masterclass you'll discover each month which bike shops have had the most social media engagement and why - catch up on last week's now.
The masterclass...

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Experts advise indie retailers to "buy stock now" for Christmas

Posted on in Business News , Cycles News

A shelvesrecent article featured in Forbes written by Catherine Erdly, Small business retail expert and founder of The Resilient Retail Club, has advised independent retailers to plan ahead this Christmas, especially with regard to e-commerce, stock quantities and COVID restrictions.

E-commerce continues to dominate

Andrew Goodacre, CEO of the British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) and member of the Independent Retailers Confederation (IRC) highlights that online shopping has more than doubled its share of retail sales in the last 18 months.

Alex Ryan, Consumer Products Marketing Consultant and owner of Marketing 101 also emphasizes the importance of selling online but stresses the need for small businesses to regularly test their websites.

"Busy websites can break or get overloaded, and there's nothing more frustrating than checking your sales on a Monday morning to discover your payment gateway snapped on Friday night" he says via email.  He also notes that this is not the time to make changes to websites, until "after the January sales".

Disruption in the supply chain ahead

As small businesses plan out their Christmas sales strategies and targets, understanding what customers' spending habits might be this year is key.

Consumers are likely to make Christmas extra special this year after many being away from loved ones during Christmas 2020. Goodacre foresees a "bumper time for retailers with demand being higher".

However, one of the looming issues this year, threatening to "ruin Christmas" will be shipping and supply. In order to meet their customer's needs and therefore boost sales, businesses need to plan ahead, especially with regard to stock quantities. Goodacre clarifies: "The real challenge for the retailer is the supply chain and ensuring that the stock is available at the right time - so look to buy stock now and start the marketing for the festive period now. It is likely that Christmas shopping may start earlier than usual, especially if the difficulties in the supply chains continue".

Safety first

No Christmas outlook advice can be shared without mentioning COVID guidelines. Small businesses involved in any face-to-face experiences with their customers, whether a physical store, Christmas markets or events must be fully compliant with any government advice, particularly around public safety.

The Christmas 2021 outlook is positive for small businesses, with many customers ready to make it a year to remember after the disappointment of 2020. However, for retail businesses to make the most of this opportunity, they need to take into account and plan for the challenges of supply chain disruption, shipping delays and the need to protect themselves, and customers, from the impact of COVID.



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