Business development · 20 May 2020

Four elements that successful retail businesses share

2020 retail

Retail expert, Catherine Erdly shares her insights on what successful retail businesses have in common.

it’s easyto assume that all businesses are struggling right now, but the truth is that many small and independent product businesses are actually seeing record sales.

Two weeksago, Shopify CEO TobI Lutke tweeted that their platform was seeing incredibly high levels of demand, higher than Black Friday. And Shopify is predominantly home to small and medium sized retailers, supporting the idea that there are many of these who are’seeing buoyant sales.

This articleoutlines four characteristics of businesses that are thriving right now.

1. They’re not acting like it’s business as usual

If you’reon the mailing list for some of the bigger retailers, you might have noticed that several of them are somewhat missing the mark when it comes to relating to their customers.

But smallbusinesses have an advantage – they can share their own personal stories about how life is for them RIGHT NOW.

Businessesthat are thriving are sharing these stories to make the connection, but in a positive way. If you’re struggling with what to say – start by meeting your customer where they are and share your life too.

2. They sharetheir stories

Successfulproduct businesses right now are the ones that share their story and values with their audience.

Take Lucyand Yak for example – as an ethical clothing brand, they went a whole step further with the idea of knowing who made your clothes and have their tailors in India sew a numbered tab into the leg of each pair of dungarees.

This week, as part of Fashion Revolution week, they shared a page on their website that showed you a photo and description of who had made your dungarees.

Consciousconsumerism has been growing in momentum as a movement for the past couple of years and I don’t believe that Covid-19 is going to slow it down. People are going to continue to want to buy products that have a story and a purpose rather than just more “stuff”.

So what doesthat mean for you?



Catherine Erdly has over 19 years experience working with product businesses of all sizes from high street names (such as Paperchase, Laura Ashley and Coast), all the way down to brand new businesses with just a handful of customers.

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