US Retail Trade Dips - this is what you can do now
January 14, 2015
The Dow Jones is down after the retail sector surprised the market trending down for the peak December season. While economists expected the retail trade figures to grow by about 0.1% consumer purchases actually declined 0.9% with overall sales declining 1%. The news came on the back of a revision for the November figures which were 0.7% up only to come down to an actual of 0.4%.
EntreHub CEO, Matthew Tukaki, told a US online forum overnight that "retail trade boosts in December should no longer be relied on because the shift in consumer spending trends during and now post the economic downturn had changed. The reality is consumers have become more frugal and conscious with their spending habits and so instead of spending $1,000 they may have the money but spend only $100. They could be choosing to save for a rainy day or pay down debt."
He went on to say that the figures that should guide the retail sector are credit card and personal loan debt levels: "The truth is we need to look at the sort of data to get an idea of where consumers are spending on what types of goods and services. Retailers need to change the way they draw people in and this includes not being so focused on the traditional Black Friday sales techniques."
His advice for small business retailers:
Start looking at gathering more information from your consumers by surveying them in-store to try and figure out spending patterns and buying motivations
Build promotions around local market conditions and re-think pricing strategies that are more in tune to building longer term customer loyalty schemes
The day of using fancy advertising is over - market and advertise on the benefits and advantage of your retail outlet over someone else's - people value their dollar and you should let them now how much you value theirs.
If you are not online yet - consider it - because at the end of the day you have a 24/7 business with potentially much lower overheads than a brick and mortar store front.
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