Smarter delivery and customer service spells success for UK retailers

Two thirds of small retail and e-commerce businesses predict they will be in a strong trading position by spring 2018

Small businesses and start-ups in the retail sector are feeling positive about trading conditions ahead, with two thirds sharing the view that their company will have grown to be in “a stronger position” by spring 2018, according to a new survey by Censuswide.

The research, commissioned by Shutl, found that a third of business credited the development of smarter, and better, ways to deliver their products to clients as a key factor in increasing business success.

However, 73% of the 500 retail businesses surveyed highlighted competition from larger online retailers as the biggest threat to the future success of their business. 59% reported that the wider delivery and distribution networks used by larger retailers gives them an unfair advantage.

As a result, 34% of UK small retailers felt that an improvement in e-commerce technology and delivery options would boost their chances of competing effectively with larger retailers.

Read more: Take a look at our free guides for more on selling online and running a retail business.

In spite of this, 70% of the small business owners surveyed believe the personalised customer service that they deliver gives them a competitive edge over larger companies, and 62% stated that the unique experience offered by their brand would stand them in good stead against bigger retailers.

Jason Tavaria, head of Shutl, commented: “The results of this survey point to buoyant small and medium-sized retailers, who are increasingly using technology and smarter selling options to compete against the bigger retailers with larger budgets.

“Today delivery is no longer such a big USP. Carriers have become increasingly savvy about the small and medium enterprise group as a compelling audience, and in turn costs have reduced and technology is supporting an infrastructure that is dynamic and cost effective. Thus the continuing technological innovation to support small and medium enteprises is making it easier, and more cost effective for this group to compete.”

If you run a retail business that launched in the last four years, you’re eligible to apply for our Retail Business of the Year category at the esteemed Startups Awards 2017. Enter here before 15 September 2017 and you could win!

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