Stand out in four steps: How local retailers can compete with big brands online

Smart Company

Kelly Slessor, CEO and founder of Shop You, shares her insights on how local retailers can compete with big brands online.

Generally speaking, local retailers have had it tough for some time now. A decrease in high street traffic, a shift to online, increased competition from overseas and changing consumer behaviour has driven many to close their doors.

Businesses that have struggled are now faced with one of the most difficult times in the history of retail.

Not all will make it. For those that do, the opportunities to grow and to stand out in an online world are bigger now than they have ever been.

As we faced restrictions and lockdowns, availability and local convenience became a priority. 

According to Australia Post, local retailers grew more than 80% year-on-year eight weeks after the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Shifting to and standing out in a digital world is not easy for many local retailers. They often lack the skillset, funds and time. There is also the fear of the unknown.

Having worked with retailers and running her own digital growth course, Kelly has developed four key steps for growing retail online. These steps are:

  1. Know your customer
  2. Plug-and-play
  3. Offer convenience
  4. Choose your channels

Read the full story at Smart Company. 

Kelly Slessor Ecommerce Coach

Kelly Slessor is an Ecommerce coach and digital marketing expert passionate about helping retailers grow. As a thought leader, strategist and speaker she has worked with world leading companies. Companies include Westfields, Woolworths, Big W, Sainsburys, Gluestore and small independent brands and restaurants.

Ask the Experts: Home Decor and Furniture Retailers

Power Retail

As Australians remain inside during the pandemic, the popularity of housewares have gone through the roof. We look to leading e-commerce experts to rank three home decor and furniture retailers. 

Shoppers are redecorating, updating their home office and keeping themselves occupied during lockdown. We sat down with e-commerce expert, Alita Harvey-Rodriguez, the Managing Director at MI Academy, Kelly Slessor, the Founder and CEO of Shop You, and Jane Magoffin, the Senior Account Manager at Reload Media. We examined and broke down the good, bad and the mediocre.

We’ll be looking at are Temple & Webster, Brosa and Zanui. What do these leading e-commerce experts think of these three retailers?

Temple & Webster - Home decor and furniture retailer

Temple & Webster is a retailer that understands its customers. It is one of the market leaders in Australia.

With so many people searching on their phones for home decor, it is crucial that the homepage is easy to navigate. 

Product review systems is a strong selling point. It shows user-generated content of real customers who own that product and how they have used it.

“Huge range of product images and great size easy to see the product in detail on mobile.”

Brosa - Art-inspired furniture and decor retail

Brosa provides art-inspired furniture and decor. This retailer is design-led and environmentally-friendly.

The homepage gives the user a push into taking action. Customers are faced with options. Calling a stylist, finding a physical store, a virtual conversation or browsing their top product categories. Homepage is focused on sales and uses GIFs to show different products.

“Great imagery on the homepage, but the fonts on imagery are too small to read.”

“Clean imagery coupled with design inspiration.”

Product page has rich information with detailed and visual product descriptions. It is clear that Brosa uses a personal approach. This can be seen by their call to actions – ‘We’re here to help’ and ‘Call us’.

Zanui - Homewares and furniture retail

Zanui is an online leader for Aussie homewares. It provides the trendiest furniture for Aussie online shoppers.

Zanui does a really nice job of adjusting their homepage to whatever device the customer is on. Either mobile or desktop. The mobile experience is slightly different from the desktop experience.

On each product page, there is product description, live stock updates and shipping quotes.

“Image navigation on the homepage is clear and well designed.”

“Two pop ups on mobile product page can be distracting, but there’s great product imagery.”

Kelly Slessor is an Ecommerce Coach and a digital marketing expert passionate about helping retailers grow. Kelly has worked with 100’s of retailers, shopping centres and property groups to develop their digital marketing plans, e-commerce platforms and technology strategy. Companies include Westfields, Woolworths, Big W, Sainsburys, Gluestore and small independent brands and restaurants.

Read the full story at Power Retail.

Let’s talk: Running a retail business

dynamic business

Running a retail business is full of ups and downs, and isn’t easy. There are risks, but there are also opportunities. There have been many significant challenges that forced retailers to come up with creative solutions to adapt and overcome these challenges. For example, COVID-19 transforming shopping attitudes and behaviours.

COVID-19 has reshaped retail and given business owners many unprecedented challenges so far this year. As shops on high street were forced to close under lockdown rules, consumers switched behaviours and e-commerce saw a huge uptake.

What are the pros and cons for retail businesses considering the circumstances of recent months? We ask experts in the sector to outline their viewpoints on the question.

Kelly Slessor points out that pre-COVID retail was already experiencing huge challenges. Operating seamless channels that integrated both the physical and digital store. It required investment and a skillset that many retailers did not have. During COVID we saw an online increase of 50%. Services such as curbside pickup increase by 208%. The forward-thinking retailers move on to video concierge and personal stylists type services. 

Analysts believe that the retail industry will accelerate by more than 5 years in less than 3 months.

Customers have been retraining to shop online. Over the next 6-12 months, we will be seeing the survivors driving enhanced experiences in their digital channels.

There will be many fallouts of those that cannot invest in and accelerate their digital experience.

There have been many demands and pressures on retailers placed by the pandemic. Such as unprecedented disruptions to supply chains, explosive demands, and rapid shifts in consumer behaviour.

Many retailers face an unknown future. Retailers must be able to adapt whilst staying alongside product innovations and industry trends. These are the ones who will survive.

Read the full story at Dynamic Business.

How retail can get with the times and provide quality customer journeys

venture

This article was a cover story in The Venture Magazine – What does the future have in store for retail? Kelly Slessor discusses the future of retail. Kelly Slessor is the founder of the personalized virtual shopping mall Shop You. Slessor shares her insights on how the pandemic is helping to speed up its arrival.

Retail is broken

To begin with, it’s no secret that retail is broken. That was true before the novel coronavirus shut down storefronts across the globe.

COVID-19 has revealed that retailers are being forced to think about how customers shop in the real world. Realising and understanding this will enhance the customer experience in the future.

When e-commerce was launched, it made retailers forget about humans. It removes the personal touch of an in-person experience. What retailers need to do is to create a smooth connection between online and in-store.

Innovations such as a virtual try-on will increase customer satisfaction and reduce waste. It’s not just about ordering something that fits a customer’s body. Shoppers want clothes that fit their personalities. In fact, Slessor views it as the gap between online and in-store experiences. So, she has been working on a personalization formula for Shop You.

Today, we are seeing more cashier-less stores with contactless payment systems. Of course it’s convenient, but it’s also safer during the pandemic. The ‘Click & Collect’ option will rise over the next several years. Again, it reduces contact and increases convenience over time. 

Retailers looking to remain part of the customer journey must move to multichannel. Otherwise, left behind. So, retailers will need to keep the human aspect of the shopping experience. For instance, asking customers questions and getting to know them. Rather than presenting customers with a catalogue. 

Shop You is a virtual mall that will give customers an online experience of an in-person experience. Customers will be able to find what they’re looking for and get it in a way that is convenient for them. 

To sum up, adding customization elements to the online experience will drive customer satisfaction. This also gives augmented reality another purpose.

Retail will never be the same again: the future of retail

CEO Magazine

The coronavirus pandemic has convinced many CEOs that what is actually happening was going to happen in the future. Retail has been hit badly. 

“Retail will never be the same again. There is no turning back and no returning to normal; the future just happened,” said Kelly Slessor, founder and CEO of personalised mobile shopping app Shop You.

“The retail industry was already on course for a huge shake-up and with lockdown forcing the closure of shopping centres and retail stores. The industry has been forced to act.”

COVID-19 has spurred a massive change for the retail industry. Retailers have been scrambling to adapt. As physical stores closed, consumers have shifted to online shopping. As a result, this has forced retailers to create new ways to ensure business continuity and optimise e-commerce business functions. To survive and thrive, retailers need to take advantage of online technology and tools.

Many trends will come out of a post-COVID world. The drastic shift from in-store to online is not going to change to its previous state, after the pandemic has passed. Shoppers will continue to go to the physical store. However, their behaviours will change. It is more likely that customers will visit physical stores less and spend more when they do come.

Retailers will need to provide an immersive experience.

Read more at The CEO Magazine.