In the current climate, small and medium-sized retailers need to ensure they have the right tools and capabilities in place to not only attract new customers but to then provide an outstanding experience.
Intelligently leveraging business funding to invest in these resources can be the difference between competing effectively in a crowded and increasingly pressurised market or falling by the wayside.
The current global economy is having a cascading effect on retailers, which is felt through rising interest rates, inflation and supply chain challenges. To mitigate the impact successful retailers are working with funding partners to enable investment in that will help them grow in cost-effective and sustainable ways.
Alternative lenders are well positioned to help, as they have less stringent application requirements and faster turnaround times than traditional banks.
“Smaller retailers often lack resources to compete with bigger and more established players. Through working with a business funding partner that understands their market and their business, they can access the finance needed to invest in the areas to take on their larger competitors,” says Tom Stuart, Chief Marketing Officer at Lulalend.
Quick and easy funding at your fingertips is essential for your business to thrive under the pressures of the current economic climate. Here is how a growing number of retailers are using funding to strengthen their businesses:
Secure stock for busy sales periods
Stock availability is obviously critical to satisfying customers. With a global scarcity of many popular items, and supply chain disruptions on imports, it’s important to secure the stock you need as early as possible. This means buying in bulk to avoid potential delays with top up or repeat orders.
However, buying in bulk often requires large upfront payments, with a longer wait period until the stock generates a sales return. This is where taking out a short-term loan with a deferred repayment option can help retail SMEs manage their cash flow through the peak season.
Digitise your retail business
Digitisation is crucial for retailers to adapt to the needs of their customers. Not only does this help reach more customers, who increasingly want to transact online, but it can also drive increased efficiency in the business. Developing the right ecommerce capabilities, with the relevant payment and delivery options is no longer optional.
Launch a digital marketing campaign
Once an online presence is established, a digital marketing campaign will be required to reach what could be a much broader group of customers. Developing and growing a brand presence online is critical to drawing customers to an online store. Benefits of digital marketing over traditional advertising include the set up and execution of campaigns being quicker and cheaper, and the results are much easier to measure.
Enhance your retail space
Visual updates and upgrades to a retail space can help draw customers back to a physical store, helping balance out the rise of e-commerce. Through investing in lighting and developing creative spaces in the business, customers can feel welcomed and have a heightened sense of direction.
“There are many ways that SMEs in the retail sector can strengthen their position. Business finance offers long-term benefits to retailers, not only in terms of growing the bottom line, but also in helping develop and strengthen relationships with their customers,” Stuart concluded.