Independent retailers are being urged to take action now, and embrace online retail through Amazon quickly, if UK lockdown has already impacted on what should have been their ‘golden quarter’ for sales and especially if they did not source new back-up sales mechanisms in lockdown one.
Expert online retail solutions provider and successful Amazon Store specialist, Rosetta Brands, which focuses largely on food and drink, health and beauty and pet and toy retail, recognises that embracing Amazon would be a leap of faith for many retailers, but says it could be necessary for many and time is of the essence. Experts are predicting a 62% plunge in retail footfall to Boxing Day, even if lockdown lifts as currently predicted.
Offsetting such retail losses could be imperative, as retailers head into the New Year. A quarter of retailers did not survive the first lockdown and the British Independent Retailers Association says the second lockdown could “decimate” the independent retail sector.
A third of all Christmas spending will be online this year, according to a Vouchercodes survey and that was conducted even before the second lockdown. Rosetta Brands urges independent retailers to swallow their pride and work with Amazon, rather than against them, utilising what the retail giant can offer, rather than resenting its presence in the marketplace.
With 50% of shoppers now going direct to Amazon to search for products, rather than to Google, Rosetta – a dedicated Amazon distributor for a wide range of brands – says having an Amazon store makes economic sense. However, its advice comes with provisos.
Rosetta highlights how the fees charged for those selling through the Amazon platform, are typically a particular issue for those not operating an effective Amazon store. Clients that work with Rosetta, from large brands such as Ribena and Peroni, to medium-sized shortbread manufacturers in Scotland and small, artisan food brands, such as Claire’s Handmade in Cumbria, Ilkley Brewery, St Ives Gin and Rosebud Preserves in Masham, all recognise that the brand leverage they acquire from Amazon, more than compensates for the fees they pay and see it as a fair trade-off, for their routes to market, brandbuilding and sales volumes.
Rosetta Brands offers all clients the same service, regardless of size, using its 11 years of know-how with Amazon retailing, to create a dynamic storefront, listings and product pages, and a strategy that will help to get clients the best exposure on Amazon, in the longer term. It is this strategic knowledge that is so vital, enabling Rosetta Brands’ clients to stand out from the crowd.
Rosetta places orders with its clients each week and those retailers simply send their stock to a designated Amazon warehouse, for Amazon Prime, next-day delivery to customers. The wholesale price is no different to that which the supplier would charge any other customer, but Rosetta will typically pay invoices on 30-day terms – speedier than many buyers and also than Amazon itself.
Getting product into the hands of customers so swiftly through the Amazon Prime service is also a way to generate more repeat sales. If a customer likes a product that they receive, they are more likely to order another, knowing it will arrive quickly, ahead of a big gift occasion such as Christmas, Valentine’s or Mother’s Day.
Whilst there is no guarantee an optimised store can be established before Christmas, as it can take 4-6 weeks, acting now will put retailers in much better shape for 2021.
Rosetta Brands’ CEO, Nick Comer, says: “Independent retailers are being forced to change their stance on online retail, because of lockdown. Operating solely from a bricks and mortar shop, whether in a village or on a high street, is exposing them to too much risk now. Whilst a vaccine may be on the horizon, there will be little chance of reversing retail trends, even after the pandemic. Many customers have become used to shopping online and getting what they want to buy, delivered to their door next day. It’s time to work with Amazon, not against it.”