The last few years have hit the high street hard, and even more so during Covid lockdowns. According to data from the ONS (Office of National Statistics), it is estimated that 14% of businesses closed between January 2021 and January 2022. Adding to that due to uncertainty and volatility in the market, there were 4% fewer new businesses created. With the continual rise in the cost of living and uncertainty, consumer spending is also down which is having a profound effect on businesses large and small, both in-store and online.
What is Independents’ day?
Independents’ day runs on the 2nd-3rd of July and aims to support and promote local businesses throughout the UK. Independentsdayuk has identified that as much as 65% of the high street is made up of independent retailers or approximately 290,000 retailers. Independent businesses are on hand to offer a diverse range of goods and services that cater to every need. Independent businesses can be recent graduates offering a range of services that they honed at university, they could be small businesses owned by parents who make handmade items, or they could even be ex-professionals who want to try something new such as craft beers.
How can I get involved with Independents’ day?
Whether you run an independent business or just want to support them, you can use the #ukindieday and shout about the business every day, but more so on the 2nd and 3rd of July. The other way you can show your support is to shop at your local or independent shop, be that a greengrocer, butcher, or even a gift shop. So, if you run an independent business or support one, make sure you shout about it on social media. We know reviews are important for businesses too, so make sure you leave a review on their social media page and Google Business Profile (formerly GMB – Google My Business).
You can also follow Independents’ day accounts on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook where you can keep up to date on everything independent.
Image Source: Boldnation
How can independent shops attract their audience?
We understand how hard it is for a small independent business to stand out from larger brands, but it can be done through a thorough analysis of your audience personas.
Additionally, you can target and segment your audience to their generation. Each generation reacts differently to marketing tactics and has its own unique style. We have given you a basic snapshot of each generation, but not everyone is the same and there may be crossovers between each generation.
Gen Z Audience
If your brand targets a younger audience, then Gen Z is coming of age. This age range is extremely value-driven as well as being socially and environmentally conscious, so natural brands, that use ethically sourced materials and are environmentally friendly will resonate highly with this genre. Gen Z loves authenticity, so the traditional, glossy, high-production marketing will not resonate well here, they want to see you being authentic and being real. This demographic is the least brand loyal, however, they produce the most UGC (User Generated Content). This can be helpful for independents looking to build their Gen Z consumer base.
Millennials have more expendable cash than Gen Z. This tech-savvy demographic loves an omnichannel experience so they can switch between online and in-store seamlessly, with most of their purchases happening in-store. Millennials love word of mouth and would be more likely to purchase if they had read reviews or their peers recommended a product, so UGC is important here too. Millennials love to interact with brands on social media such as Twitter and Facebook and also enjoy authentic content over high production marketing.
Gen X’ers are the forgotten generation or middle child if you will! Your Gen Xers are busy people, often juggling a full-time job with childcare. This demographic has a decent grasp of modern technology and will use it to search out information regarding a purchase and are happy to purchase online or in-store. Gen X love a sale so offering a discount or coupon will resonate well here. Facebook is a great way to target Gen Xers, as it is the most used social platform.
A generation of retired or close to retirement, this generation doesn’t want to browse, they want to get what they need and go. A lot less tech-savvy than their younger counterparts, although most can use technology to some extent, this generation much prefers to make purchases in-store. They tend to have more disposable income than the younger generations. When it comes to advertising, this generation is more likely to trust a more traditional form of marketing rather than social media.
What can I do to improve customer footfall as a small business?
As a small business, you need to get your name out there. Here are our top 7 tips for building your presence:
- Ensure you have a Google Business Profile which will show customers where your store is located, it can also include website details.
- Get reviews from customers – get them to review you on Google Business Profile and your social media pages.
- Make sure you are listed on as many local listings sites as possible (and check your info is correct).
- Regularly update your customers with images and videos on social media. Make sure your content is engaging and always include a strong CTA (Call-to-action).
- Respond swiftly to customers in-store and online.
- Take some time to understand SEO (it really will help your online presence).
- Do some paid advertising on the social media channels your customers are on to help you reach more people.
Are you a small business that needs help with any aspect of digital marketing? We can help you! Take a look at our services page to see everything we cover and if you are ready, feel free to contact us today.