We all need new revenue – what is the best way to get it for an independent food retailer?
Independent food retailers -delis, farm shop, grocery stores, convenience stores – we all need new revenue and we need it now.
High street problems, parking, covid, Amazon, we are all struggling with these pressures. And don’t forget rising rents, rising rates, rising minimum wage, new pension contributions, higher utility and insurance costs. There is only so much cost cutting we can do.
Here are some options to increase your income.
Get a better margin: The oldest and most direct way to increase revenue is to increase prices. It increases margin, bringing more money to the bottom line. The very directness of this makes it attractive. This may not sound like new revenue to you, but we promise you it will feel like it when it happens. Go round your store, and ask yourself – where can you raise prices.
Diversify: Are you selling everything you can? Greetings cards can be extra £200 per week. We know a card wholesaler who sells more through a single high performing independent than they do through Ocado. Gifts, crockery, kitchenware, wine, hampers. How you diversify depends on your store, but you are paying your rent: sweat those square feet.
Reach out to new demographics: Did you know that shopkeepers attract people like them? Are you getting a bit older? That means your customers are aging with you. That doesn’t mean you have to be all things to all people, quite the opposite, be niche, but not just one niche. The grey pound, the pink pound, the farmers’ market pound, the second homers’ pound. If you want those pounds, you need to be a second home to them.
Customers who are lost because someone has closed down, and where are those customers who have stopped coming in? There are loose customers out there without a home. In these turbulent times, look who has closed down or previous customers who are no longer coming into yours. Get a strategy together to scoop them up or attract them back. Don’t let them go somewhere else.
GO ONLINE: Being online is often the cheapest form of expansion. That doesn’t mean you should list every packet of biscuits in your shop to be collected by DPD. That is not going to happen. What you can do is enable your existing customers to shop from your store in a greater variety of ways – a more convenient and flexible way.
Pre-orders, promotions, reservations for short-life or limited supply products, hampers. Think about what your customers are buying now, and give them more ways to buy it.
Plus - every single one of the above can be achieved by going online.
- Earn a better margin by selling all day, automatically, with lower staff and property costs than you have in store
- Diversify: with some online services, you can earn commission from selling products direct from wholesalers and producers, all from your own branded website. You can be a food hall online, even if you are a small high street shop in bricks and mortar life.
- New customers: not only can reach customers who don’t come into town or past your farm shop, but you can tailor your offer towards new demographics – gluten free, health foods, gift hampers, present for dad on Father’s Day. The online space is much more malleable than your store, and can be focussed to wider groups of people.
- Attracting lost customers: online posts and links to relevant products can draw lost customers to your store. Links to OAP offers, Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows for parents with children, Easter promotions, pre-orders for Christmas – use your online offer as marketing for your shop. Clicks supports Bricks.
An online offer is now an essential part of every local business. Yes – you won’t get orders from Aberystwyth (unless you are in Aberystwyth). That’s not the point. A good online offer allows you to sell more and more widely to your local community. It is both a sales tool and a marketing tool.
Use these ideas to generate new revenue for your shop. Your country needs you, your community needs you, the many small food producers need you. And you need more income to be sustainable.