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Weather-proofing my business with the web

Hilary Haresign

I’ve revamped the website and increased our Google ranking, driving visitors

Unfortunately you can’t plan for the weather, and we’ve certainly had plenty of it thrown at us over the past couple of months. First we had rain and floods in November, which was followed by snow in December and then snow and treacherous ice in January. All of this has led to a dearth of footfall at my store as customers have been put off from venturing outside.

As an occasionwear destination store, my customers come to me for an outfit for their special event. As the weather improves, I’m hoping I’ll see a big increase in customers clambering for that special outfit, after being stuck indoors for so long.

In 2009, I introduced The Wild Plum Coffee Shop in my store as a way of improving footfall.

This has attracted a different type of customer, which has led to the introduction of a new casualwear department this spring.

Diversification is key to encouraging footfall and sales, but what about the bad weather days when customers are sat at home surfing the internet? I’ve revamped the Snooty Frox website and increased my company’s Google search ranking, which has resulted in a massive rise in first-time and repeat visitors. An interesting website will ultimately draw people into the shop - when they can get out of the house - but I’m also developing a facility for online sales, as the website is not currently transactional.

However, I firmly believe that the ultimate shopping experience can only truly be experienced on a personal level in store, and long may that continue for all retailers.

All we need now is good weather.

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