Reasons for small businesses to be cheerful; Lessons in marketing from high street woes

The demise of retailers Maplins and Toys ‘R Us has been attributed, in part, to the growth in online shopping. Online giants such as Amazon have had a huge impact on the high street as more consumers see online shopping as cheaper and easier than going to the shops. What’s really driving the shift to online? It’s all about convenience. Just like picking low-hanging fruit before the trickier higher branches, online shopping can deliver an efficient customer experience quickly and easily with access to the full range of products without leaving home. No wonder the high street is suffering. So where’s the good news?

1. The future is there to be shaped by everyone. The street might be revived! Real communities may replace virtual ones if businesses like yours stay truly close, identifying customers’ needs, and your product is easily and reliably delivered. If you always identify, anticipate, and satisfy customer needs profitably, you will continue to thrive.

2. You have the personal touch. Part of the success of online retailers such as Amazon stems from their use of Artificial Intelligence, AI, to predict your future purchases and suggest what you might like to buy based on your previous browsing and purchase activity. This is a textbook example of how technology has been adapted to fufil the task of a human. But, bots don’t have any EQ. They can’t pick up on your current emotions, cues, and beliefs like authentic people do. We each change daily, which leaves the bots prone to error. Emotional intelligence and the ability to connect on a human, social level is irreplaceable.

3. Your current optimism. The soundings which I took from the group of Social Mums last week unscientifically uncovered an overwhelming feeling of optimism amongst the group. That positivity should help these small-scale entrepreneurs to set themselves goals to stretch and develop farther and faster than if they were weighed down by pessimism. Your optimism and happiness will help to drive satisfaction amongst your customers. That’s why small business owners who know their customers as individuals can remain cheerful despite the high street woes. Perhaps the large retailers should have paid more attention to identifying the underlying customer need for convenience, to avoid losing sales to online competitors.

You have the chance to be nimble and act now. As the owner of a small business, you can react to the current climate and listen closely to what your customers say and observe their behaviour to ensure that you deliver satisfaction to them and retain their business. Most people reading this will have found it via a social forum. If your business would like to know about how to connect to survive, please contact me by email: [email protected] or twitter: @lisabmarketing or via my website: