This past few weeks I’ve been reading positive news stories about some retail businesses such as Boohoo, Asos, Primark and Next. This contrasts with disaster stories for businesses like Arcadia Group (which owns the high street clothing retailers Topshop, Burton, Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge). Business costs such as high rents are a factor but the key issue is how businesses have tackled online sales. The winners have invested in IT and logistics. Let’s compare Topshop (spend a whopping €75 for free delivery and returns) to Boohoo (pay €11.99 and get unlimited delivery and returns for a year). Boohoo’s sales soared 27% this year while Arcadia is clutching at straws to make agreements with landlords and save the business.
But how does this story of battling titans have meaning for a small Irish SME retailer? Well for one thing I’m constantly reading stories about Irish businesses lagging behind our European counterparts in having an online presence, so here’s a few ideas that could help.
Trading Online Voucher Scheme
You can get €2500 towards web design, building your online presence etc. for free if you have a business that’s been open at least 6 months. On top of this your Local Enterprise Office and give you lots of training and support around building an online presence. You can read more about the Trading Online Voucher Scheme by clicking here.
This is a great way to get more people in to your store. You plug a pointy device in between your point of sale & barcode scanner, carry on and over time your scanned products will appear on your Pointy web page and your shop and products start appearing higher in Google search results. You get found by people doing Google searches for your products in your location. Check out Pointy here.
3. More serious Digital Transformation?
It’s not cheap to have a slick online sales presence and once you have done your homework on what it will cost for your business ask us how to find finance to make it happen. A few quick suggestions include:
Unsecured loans - If you have 2 years accounts showing profit. Sometimes 1 year will do.
Merchant Cash Advance - If you use a card machine, Stripe or PayPal and have 12 months statement history.
Leasing - If you want a better point of sale system, computer equipment etc. get some quotes and we can help arrange leasing
To ask us about finance send us a message now. We’re generally available 7 days from early morning to late at night. Or call us on 015563655