Greenhalgh’s David Smart welcomes the New Year with a fresh slate, and suggests it’s time to think outside the box. 

At last 2015 has arrived; the start of a brand new year, a clean page to work on, and a year full of promise and promises that must be kept.

All the mistakes, blunders, bad decisions and or “if only” are  consigned to the history book, and if needed you can press that huge delete button on that part of your life.

This year, let us all try our utmost to reinvigorate the high street and capitalise on the demise of some of the major retailers, now that customers have finally realised that shopping local can actually save them money. Finally, it seems, people have realised that they get a far better shopping experience by coming into our shops, where our shop assistants know them personally, and have already put away their order waiting for them to arrive. It’s that human touch, the personal service, the friendly banter that multiples can`t replicate in their high-tech, glossy over-veneered, corporate worlds built on sand.

New Year is time to think outside the box. It is time to do something completely different and bring that extra income stream into your business, so let`s learn from the bigger boys and beat them at their own game. Those businesses that haven`t got a web site displaying your business and products for all to see, you are so way behind, 80% of shoppers access the internet before they even go shopping: because they want to see what they want and where to go for it.

As businesses we can really capitalise on this phenomenon. Just think about it for a moment, the possibilities are endless.

  • Bespoke Celebration biscuits through the post.
  • Celebration cake ordering
  • Click and Collect shopping
  • Home Delivery – (over a £30 limit and within a radius)
  • Buffets – sandwich platters for the ever busy office
  • Hampers of all sizes – even one for Granny who lives far away
  • Gifts – for all reasons, limited only by your own imagination

Your online presence would literally be your “virtual shop” E-Commerce in 2015 will see improved growth unprecedented by recent years, as more and more people start to buy on line. Remember “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday “heralding the start of Christmas shopping – many of the on-line retailers also declared it a “Sofa Sunday” where shoppers didn`t even get off their sofas to start shopping. This is where some of the retail business is going, if you are not already in this area of business, it’s time to take a look.

Below is a exert from the Guardian News Paper

Mintel estimates 2015 will bring more growth for online, with e-commerce sales rising by 14.5% next year and comprising 12.7% of all retail sales – a rise on this year at just over 11%. John Mercer, retail analyst at Mintel, says: “More shoppers will be drawn into online shopping and they will shop more frequently online because it’s just so much easier.”

The convenience provided by click-and-collect (around 17% of internet retail sales will be collected by customers in 2015, according to Mintel) and the ease of shopping on mobile devices is fuelling the emerging trend for last-minute online purchases. Curry’s PC World is even taking orders for home delivery on Christmas Eve morning for certain postcodes. “People are increasingly comfortable leaving their Christmas shopping later and later,” Longhurst says. (Source Guardian)