Is the brick and mortar retail business here to stay, or should you just pack up shop? The retail industry is transforming. New technology and changing consumer behavior is making it difficult to know what to do next to protect your business.
Firstly, there is no need to panic. Online sales only make up 10 percent of all retail sales. Currently there are over 1 million retail establishments in the US, and this is growing. In fact, for every retail store that is closed, 5 more open in its place. That’s not all: 98 percent of retail is made up of small businesses. Here’s another interesting fact that paints a pretty picture for the small retailer: smaller stores are driving the retail industry, especially stores with fewer than 5 employees.
What a growing industry means, though, is competition. You’ll have to up your game if you want your retail business to grow. Consumers are asking for in-store navigation apps, self check-out, curbside pick-up — anything that makes their shopping experience easier and more satisfying. As the owner of a small retail business, you might think that the cost of implementing technology solutions is too high. The thing is, if you want to remain a player in your community, you are going to have to invest in your business, and quickly.
Nevertheless, it is great to know that $68 of every $100 spent at a local small business stays in town. Prosperous communities are created around small-scale, locally owned businesses. Maybe it’s because you cater for local needs. Maybe it’s the opportunities you bring to town. The numbers show that small retailers hire 39.8% of all retail employees.
Consumers of all ages still say their first choice is going to a physical store to make purchases. In fact, customers spend more than two thirds of their discretionary income each month in-store. On top of this, they are willing to pay up to a 16% price premium when they have a great experience. However, the fact that customers still prefer in-store shopping could present danger for you. What happens when something goes wrong?
Little accidents may escalate to a lawsuit. It may seem like nothing at the time. A few cereal boxes fall onto a customer when they pull down the one they want, and everyone laughs about it. The wind may blow one of your basket into a customer’s parked car, but there’s no damage to the naked eye. You bumped into one of your workers and had to steady yourself against them so that you didn’t fall over. The next minute you’re facing claims for bodily injury, negligence and sexual harassment. As a small local store, will you be able to survive a lawsuit? It doesn’t matter how important your retail business is to your local community, if you don’t protect yourself from the cost of claims and litigation, you could find yourself out of business. So, protect your small business by investing in insurance. To find out which retail business insurance package will suit your needs at a price you can afford, ask Small Business Liability.
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