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‘Focus your resources on the customers you already have’

We are in the middle of the biggest financial meltdown for a lifetime and there is no getting away from the fact that trading is tough and will continue to be a challenge.

We are in the middle of the biggest financial meltdown for a lifetime and there is no getting away from the fact that trading is tough and will continue to be a challenge. So what can retailers do to hang in there?

I believe multichannel retailing is paramount for any successful indie in today’s market. Embracing new technology and constantly adapting to the ever-changing shopping habits of our young consumers will be essential to stay ahead of the pack.

But a lot of business comes down to common sense, with a bit of luck and timing. Burning capital can be one of the most common mistakes businesses make. And for indies especially, spending too much time and money on new customer acquisitions is common.

Apparently it’s seven times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to sell to an existing one. Many fashion businesses spend most of their marketing and resources trying to gain new customers when they need to free up resources to give more attention to existing customers, in the form of regular newsletters, replying to enquiries, loyalty schemes, discount nights, discount codes and personal shopper services. Making existing customers feel special is easier and cheaper than chasing new customers.

  • David Conaghan, Co-owner of young fashion indie Chocolate Clothing in Derry

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