To attract customers – be available in all channels

Robert CrowderLast night I was having a discussion with Robert Crowder who is the chairman of SkiClub GB and owner of Crowders Nurseries and  We were talking about retail and the role of e-commerce for garden centres in particular.  Robert reminded me of such a simple truth that to maximise growth opportunity it is essential for the product and service to be available in as many channels as possible. Especially channels that are growing like e-commerce.

Being in the right channels

This morning Robert sent me these quotes as follow up to our discussions.  This is from today’s trading update from the Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership:

Charlie Mayfield John Lewis“Although we expect to report profits up on last year, trading profit is under pressure. This reflects the greater changes taking place across the retail sector. We expect those to quicken, especially in the next 12 months as the effects of weaker Sterling feed through. We will now accelerate aspects of our strategy. This will involve a period of significant change, investment and innovation to ensure the Partnership’s success.”

JLP said: “The most obvious of these changes is the channel shift from shops to online. The other major influence is pricing, where deflation continues in food and non-food, despite rising input costs as a result of weakness in the Sterling exchange rate.

“These factors are significant for the outlook where we expect both inflationary cost pressures and competition to intensify in the market as a whole. The rate of retail market sales growth may slow and the rate of profit growth that is achievable will be affected by margin pressure.

John Lewis saw online sales up 11.8 per cent, representing 40.0 per cent of sales, with shop sales up 0.8 per cent in the six weeks to 31 January.

Attracting customers

5 questions to attract customersWhen I work with clients on attracting more customers, we always examine the channels question.  It is the 4th of the five questions you must answer to be sure you will attract more customers.  The answers to these five questions will help you make your organisation into one that Attracts and does not Extract as I wrote about recently click here