By Alan Perkins
RETAILERS have been having a torrid time for some years now and the technology in which SilverDisc, a Google Premier Partner, operates, the internet, is often blamed.
It provided a new channel to market for disruptive operators to come along, without the overheads of leases and rates, or even UK taxes in some cases, and test the financial stability of the UK high street.
About 14 shops are closing every day in the UK and sometimes whole businesses including, within the last year or so, New Look, Toys'R'Us, Maplin, Mothercare, Poundworld and, most recently, HMV. Even M&S has been struggling, with prominent local closures in Northampton and Kettering.
One of the high street's biggest problems has been Amazon, and the threat to B2B retailers has increased markedly with the introduction of Amazon Business, to do for B2B retail what Amazon has already done for B2C retail. Throw in Brexit at the end of March and a retailer's life is certainly challenging at present.
It's not all doom and gloom. Many retailers are thriving, especially SilverDisc's retail clients. These include my wife's business, a local B2C retailer and winner of E-business of the Year and then Website of the Year at the last two SME Northamptonshire Business Awards. There's also Crocus, the UK's biggest online garden nursery, a client for 10 years who have grown every year; B2B retailers in electronics and garden machinery; and B2C retailers with shops in Central London who are selling their clothing goods around the world through their website.
For B2B and B2C retailers to thrive in the face of online competition, they need to either find for themselves, or use a partner to provide, a good understanding of what's possible now and where the market and technology is heading, and to take advantage of it. That's why SilverDisc is hosting an event dedicated to Maximising Retail Profits with Marketing Technology at Google's flagship London HQ in May. Attendees will see case studies from our clients and Google and learn more about how artificial intelligence, audience targeting and an effective technology and marketing partner can help their businesses to achieve their growth ambitions.
If you're a B2B or B2C retailer who would like to pre-register for this free event, contact SilverDisc by calling 01536 316100 or visiting silverdisc.co.uk