It's no secret that online retailers have had a detrimental effect on the high street. With many big companies today like Amazon, Argos, Littlewoods etc. many high street retailers are struggling to compete. But why? Why is the high street experience diminishing whilst the online experience flourishes? Why does this need to change? and how can this be done? These are the questions that I'll be answering in this article.
What's So Good About Online Shopping?
On average, people in the UK and US spend one day per week online, so it comes as no surprise that businesses wanted to capitalise on this. With most businesses having online stores, you can buy nearly anything over the internet and have it shipped directly to your door, which, let's face it, is easier than travelling to shops in a lot of cases. Especially with most supermarkets now offering the online shopping and delivery services.
When shopping online people can easily find the same item on multiple websites and compare the prices to find the cheapest one. Whereas on the high street it could more than an hour to get to each shop, find the correct item and compare the price. So online shopping does make this considerably easier.
Not everyone has an efficient mode of transport and depending on where they live, it could take them hours to get to the nearest shopping centre or high street. This is another reason why online stores are dominating high street retailers because shoppers can receive their items the next day, or in some cases on the same day as ordering them.
Why Should High Street Retailing Be Kept Alive?
There are many reasons why in-store shopping shouldn't be forgotten, here are just a few:
1. You Can See and Try a Product Before Purchasing. When it comes to online shopping all you see of a product before you buy it are images, which oft-times will not show the full product and will not have an abundance of detail. This is why in-store shopping is still important because you can physically see and try a product before you purchase it, meaning you can make an informed decision based on what you think of the product.
2. Human Interaction. Shopping online is something that requires very little interaction on the business' part. Whereas in-store there will be staff there to aid you in finding the item you are looking for. It's their job to make sure your shopping experience has a positive result, and if not, give you recommendations on other places that might have what you’re looking for. This is what shoppers need, interaction with a helpful, friendly member of staff. Online, the closest interaction between the customer and the business is the order confirmation email.
3. No Waiting Times or Delivery Charges! When you purchase products online you often have to wait at least a few days for it to be delivered, unless you spring for next-day delivery which can cost nearly as much as the product in some cases. When going in-store, you can find the item, pay for it, and that's it, you have it in your hand. There are no lengthy waiting periods or special delivery charges, just instant purchasing.
4. Supporting Local Business! Supporting local businesses and ensuring that they remain active in the community is essential for keeping high streets alive. There are many benefits to keeping small, local businesses up and running, for example, creating a community with its own unique character. Depending on your location, your community could be a popular holiday destination, meaning that the original, one-of-a-kind businesses will attract more visitors than chain stores, and therefore bring more income into the local economy.
What Can Small Businesses Do to Remain Afloat?
The main struggle for small businesses is trying to compete with online vendors. The first thing to address is “What are they offering customers that I'm not?”. The best way to answer this question is to analyse information about your customers and who your product is aimed at. There are many different tools that you can use for this.
You will need to look at how many customers you have in a certain period of time and the age range of these customers. What products are the most popular and how long customers stay in certain areas of your shop. If your customers often require assistance and if so, is there enough staff on hand to handle this?
Answering questions like these will give you a good idea of who your target market is, the demographics of your target market, how you can facilitate these customers and what you can do to ensure that they come back. Once you have information about your customers and your competitors, use it. Create bold and eye-catching marketing campaigns, give customers an incentive to come to your business. For example, special offers and deals, reward schemes, special events etc.
Another method could be to look at the B2B sales route. You may be focusing on your public consumers but there is a lot to gain from business clients. The benefits can vary depending on your brand, product and business goals but you may be able to increase your sales exponentially. Also, creating a co-branded partnership can be a way to expand your business. Creating projects and events together with another business could help you both gain exposure for your businesses, and also catch the eye of the media which is essentially free marketing. A good co-branded partnership to look at is GoPro and Red Bull, who jointly organised the 'Stratos' project in 2012. Obviously, for a smaller business, it could be something as simple as a joint managed charity event, which gains positive publicity for both businesses.
For the B2B route, telemarketing is still one of the most prominent methods you can use to interact with your prospects. Despite some of the bad press it receives, telemarketing is undoubtedly one of, if not the best, ways to generate new business. However, some business owners don't have the expertise, workforce or even the time to organise effective marketing campaigns. That's where outsourcing comes into play. By outsourcing telemarketing to a specialised company, you no longer have to worry about creating the campaign yourself or finding the staff to manage it. All you need to do is give enough information about your business, product and goals to the lead generation business and they manage it all of you. Simply put, another company does the work, whilst you reap the benefits.
So, in conclusion, high street shopping is an in-depth shopping experience that can't be matched by online retailers, supporting high street businesses is more likely to benefit your whole community as local retailers will have a greater chance of putting some of their income back into the local economy. To remain present and gain more exposure in the retail environment, businesses need to analyse their customer and target market needs and behaviours so they can tailor their products to match. You shouldn't focus on just B2C but look at opportunities in the B2B environment, as you could be missing out on opportunities to gain exposure and grow your business' reputation.
We work with several organisations who supply services to the NHS, Primary Trusts and Care Homes in the UK. Whether it's an IT offering or you supply specialist beds, we can use our telemarketing team to get you into the facility by generating leads and appointments.
What Are The Benefits Of Telemarketing?
Telemarketing has the edge on other marketing methods such as email for a number of reasons. The first one being that it’s more personal. If you want to build a relationship with your clients, sending emails backwards and forwards can be a difficult way of going about it, calling them is a much more in-depth experience for both you and the client as you are able to hear the wants and needs of the client whilst getting your point across a lot easier.
Another reason which is the big one really, depending on your approach you can get in direct contact with the person you want to speak to. In some situations, it can take well over a week or two of sending emails out, to organise a phone call or a sit down with the client. With telemarketing, you’re already at that point without the week’s worth of emails beforehand making it a very time-efficient method.
How Does This Work In My Industry?
In the healthcare industry many hospitals, clinics, care homes etc. have to keep their stock of medical supplies and consumables up to a reasonable level and also have spares in case of emergencies. Rather than waiting for these organisations to contact your business, you can create a telemarketing campaign and contact them and show them why you are the best and clear choice to acquire their supplies from. Whether you supply specialty beds, consumables or software packages there is a strong argument to say that using telemarketing to engage with potential buyers can win you strong, sustained, new business. We know this, because of our experience in this sector working with a plethora of suppliers across many disciplines.
Why Is It A Good Idea To Outsource Telemarketing?
With all this in mind you may be saying to yourself “Yeah, that sounds great. But where am I going to find the time to create and manage the campaign whilst still carrying out the day-to-day running of the business and trying to close sales?” and the answer is, you don’t. By outsourcing your lead generation activities to telemarketing specialists, you receive all the benefits of a successful campaign, but without all the work. Meaning you have an effective way of generating leads without having to dedicate time and resources to creating and running a campaign.
Inspired B2B Marketing & How We Can Grow Your Business With B2B Telemarketing Services.
At Inspired B2B Marketing, we make it our mission to improve your business performance and provide a successful campaign each and every time. We offer a range of services including lead generation, appointment setting using email marketing in conjunction with telemarketing, data cleansing, and customer feedback campaigns. Our strategic approach encompasses planning, delivery and analysis, focusing not only on the generation of opportunities but by working with you, as part of your organisation to achieve the desired results.
On first thought people wouldn't really notice the correlation between telemarketing and agriculture. However, agricultural businesses can really benefit and thrive from business to business telemarketing.
How Does B2B Telemarketing Work?
The reason that telemarketing is such a major part of the business world is that it offers a unique chance to create strong relationships with your clients, whilst generating business leads. When you’re establishing a good reputation and taking the time to get to know your prospects and what hear what they have to say, you’re more likely to turn them into clients and even increase the chance that they’ll be a returning customer too.
Telemarketing is often ignored by companies in favour of other methods. Advertisement is a method that can be effective if done correctly, but is a type of reactive marketing, meaning you have to wait for the clients to come to you. Telemarketing is a form of proactive marketing where there’s no waiting around, instead, you make the first move.
What many businesses don’t realise is that it’s often not the goods and services that influence the client’s final decision, it’s the interaction. Clients are more likely to buy from a business that has been friendly, helpful and who they have got to know over that past week or so, rather than someone who pushes for the sale on the first interaction. This is what influences many people’s decision as they feel that the business has taken the time to get to know them personally and have had their experience tailored to suit their requirements.
How Does This Work In The Agricultural Industry?
Carrying out marketing campaigns for businesses in the agricultural industry can prove tricky with some methods. For example, emails and texts won't be very effective when it comes to marketing in that industry. Telemarketing will be a much more effective method because when it comes to business, a lot of deals, meetings and appointments are set up over the 'phone.
Telemarketing can be used to generate more business leads and sales for farms, agricultural resource suppliers and manufacturers of agricultural resources and vehicles. Examples of how it could work include:
However, not all businesses will have the time, staff or even the expertise that is needed to make their campaign effective.
That's where we come in.
Inspired B2B Marketing & How We Can Grow your Business With B2B Telemarketing.
At Inspired B2B Marketing we make it our mission to improve your business performance and provide a successful campaign each and every time. We offer a range of services including lead generation, appointment setting using email marketing in conjunction with telemarketing, data cleansing, and customer feed back campaigns. Our strategic approach encompasses planning, delivery and analysis, focusing not only on generation of opportunities but by working with you, as part of your organisation to achieve the desired results.
Since our last article on GDPR in March, all of the new regulations have been put in place and are now in full effect as of May. Despite this, some businesses have not taken the time to look into these new regulations and as a result are facing heavy fines reaching into the hundreds of thousands of pounds or even up to twenty million euros.
What Is GDPR?
The General Data Protection Regulation was put into effect on 25th May 2018 and was made as an extension of the updated 2018 Data Protection Act. It also replaces the 1995 Data Protection Directive. The GDPR has introduced a range of new regulations which have changed the ways in which a business can carry out marketing campaigns and how they can collect user data. These new regulations include:
What Actions Can Warrant Fines & How Much Can They Be?
Over the past few months, many companies have become subject to penalties under the GDPR. The maximum penalty for infractions against the GDPR can reach up to €20,000,000 or 4% of the business' annual turnover, whichever is greater. Although the maximum fine has not been given yet, many companies large and small have been receiving penalties.
Some of the fines that have been given are:
How Can You Protect Yourself?
It is highly advisable that you familiarise yourself and others in your business or organisation, with the new laws and legislations that are part of the GDPR and other data protection laws. By doing this you can begin to understand what you should avoid doing in order to keep your business operating within the lines of the law. You can also start to put in place measures that will prevent any breaches of data protection laws from happening inside your firm.
You may need to dedicate a member of staff or hire additional staff that can focus their efforts on ensuring that your business is compliant with the new data protection laws. Their responsibilities could include maintaining security both physical and digital to prevent any unauthorised/unlawful access to user data. Keeping up to date with user preferences whether they are only allowing certain means of contact or none at all, this must be put onto a file so that their privacy is respected. Another responsibility could be creating meetings that inform all staff of the GDPR regulations and the severity of the penalties that can be given if breaches are made.
We are assisting companies to help them ensure that their data is accurate, up to date and opted in, in accordance with the new data legislation. If you hold a database of customers it will need to be brought into line with this new legislation. If you would like to speak to us about the work we are currently doing with other businesses, then do get in touch us.
What Is Telemarketing?
Telemarketing is one of the most successful methods in business marketing and is used by most companies to interact directly with their clients both old and new. Telemarketing is the method of contacting current and potential clients through telecommunication. Telemarketers have often been associated with nuisance calls however it is a proven method that can be used to gain new clients for a business and conduct research.
How Does Telemarketing Impact a Business?
The reason that telemarketing is a beneficial part of the way the business can operate is that it can offer new opportunities for businesses to grow and increase sales. Telemarketing also offers unique chances to get to know the clients on a more personal level which can lead to a more effective business relationship.
Many companies will use methods such as email or social media as a way to market their products or services, and not really look into telemarketing as a way to generate new business. As valuable as social media and email marketing are for your business, they are known as forms of reactive marketing, which can be a lot like baiting a fishing line, you have to wait for the clients to comes to you. With telemarketing being a form of proactive marketing, you go to them. You are actively seeking opportunities, with your target market, whilst getting to know your prospects which will allow you to provide a more personalised and in-depth service.
How Does This Work in the IT Industry?
The IT industry has so many different aspects from building computer systems to creating software, from website design to animation. Not all aspects of the industry will benefit from telemarketing as much as others. But the companies that specialise in the areas that can benefit from telemarketing services will have a new way of interacting with their clients, a way to acquire more clients and boost their sales.
Some of the aspects of IT that could benefit from telemarketing include selling computer systems for education or business use, IT repair and support services for businesses and organisations and IT component manufacturing.
But the question you have to ask yourself is 'Do I have the time to spare or the expertise to make my campaign effective?'
That's where we come in.
Inspired B2B Marketing & How We Can Grow your Business with B2B Telemarketing Services.
At Inspired B2B Marketing, we make it our mission to improve your business performance and provide a successful campaign each and every time. We offer a range of services including lead generation, appointment setting, data cleansing and email marketing. Our strategic approach encompasses planning, delivery, and analysis, focusing not only on the generation of opportunities but by working with you, as part of your organisation to achieve the desired results.
On this page you will find all of our informative mini-articles written by our expert telemarketers and other members of our team.