‘Building your Shop’s or Business’s Community’ is the title a free webinar that is being staged tomorrow (Wednesday May 13) at 2.30pm for GCA members, hosted by Simon Pryce, director and co-owner of web design and ecommerce specialist Skylight Media and supported by a panel of GCA council members. The webinar is primarily aimed at retailers and publishers who are not currently selling online, and looking to engage better with their local communities during lockdown and beyond.
“One of the strengths of the UK greeting card industry has always been how cards are a champion product for the high street, with 94% bought in physical shops,” says Amanda Fergusson, ceo of the UK Greeting Card Association (GCA). “Lockdown has of course enforced a change of buying habits, driving many consumers online to source their cards. No one knows to what extent this move to online will stick post lockdown, but it is clear from the conversations I have had with our retail members that there is a quest to know how to improve their online presence, without it breaking the bank. The webinar is part of our response to this.”
Having developed websites for over 30 greeting card companies over the last decade, Simon and his Skylight colleagues are well aware of the machinations of our sector and so was only too pleased to help share his knowledge.
“Don’t just wait for the good times to return, if you haven’t already now really is the time get online and communicate with your customers and potential customers,” urges Simon. “A website isn’t a panacea, but it’s a great tool as long as it’s part of a strategy,” he stresses.
The webinar will cover the principles of communication, creating a great online experience, the tools needed, costs, build your own site v commissioning one, how to measure its effect, engagement with your community, search engines demystified and lots more. Following Simon’s presentation there will be time to answer questions.
Amanda communicated with all GCA members yesterday sending them the link that will enable them to attend. With indie retail membership currently only costing £12 a year, any retailer who is not yet a member and wishes to attend the webinar should contact Amanda today on firstname.lastname@example.org
“Whilst business is awful for many of the biggest names, some are bucking the trend and yet others using the time that we have right now to step back, reflect, adjust, evaluate and consider stimulating sales, changing a business model, or just waiting for the good times to return! Please avoid the last one,” adds Simon.
We Are Open Shop Directory
With the new Govt guideline signalling that all non-essential retailers can re-open on June 1 if they choose, the GCA has been instrumental in the development of a new ‘We Are Open’ online directory hosted on the IRC (Independent Retailer Confederation) site.
Wendy Jones-Blackett has helped pep up the appearance of the site (https://www.indieretail.uk/), adding some vibrant imagery and GCA retail members have wasted no time in uploading their store’s trading status with Bijou (Elgin), Card Gallery (Chandlers Ford), JP Pozzi (Buckie), Penny Black (Glasgow) and Presentation (Barrowford) among those to have detailed whether they are ‘open’ online, for delivery or click and collect.
“With greeting cards added as one of the search sectors on the site this means that any member of public can put in their postcode to see the card stockists in their vicinity. While useful now for online sales, this will become even more popular as indies are able to open up once again. It is free and easy resource. It would be great if all indie members to upload their details and update them as and when they re-open,” urged Amanda.
Top: Part of a communication Skylight Media sent out recently.