We closely follow retail trends in the heritage sector, and always seek to adapt to changes in the market. The trend for online shopping gathered enormous pace during Covid. But have shopping habits changed for good? And what does it mean for retailers in the heritage and tourism sector that rely on visitors to physical shops? New data suggests that shopping habits have changed, and retailers need to take notice of the trends, to ensure they are not missing out on valuable sales. In this article, we will delve a bit deeper and also explain how Hall of Names can support your business both in-store and online.
Where we shop.
According to a recent YouGov survey ‘Do Brits shop for gifts online or in store?’, the 25-49 age bracket were already shopping primarily online pre-Covid, so the increase in this group was only 5-10%. That’s to be expected. However, the 50-64 age bracket (by far the wealthiest according to the ONS) saw an interesting change.
Back at the start of the pandemic, this more mature group of shoppers were as likely to spend their plentiful disposable income in store as online. The Covid lockdown saw an unsurprising dramatic shift in spending to online. But what is interesting though, is that this switch remains at almost 60%, from pre-pandemic levels of 43%.
What this means for your shop.
So, what does this new trend tell us and what does it mean for you if you’re a heritage gift retailer, or in the tourism sector? Most importantly, how can you ensure you are capitalising on the increased trend for online shopping? Especially at a time when the cost of living is impacting so many shoppers. Do people need to visit your shop, or is it just as easy for them to buy from your website?
The key is offering your customers the choice. Visitors to shops within tourist and heritage locations are highly likely to be purchasing in-store for gifts to take home. They’ll be thinking carefully about how to spend their money, on gifts that really matter to them. After all, they want to take home a lovely reminder of their visit, to keep for years to come. It is vital that what you offer in store is tempting to them and tailored to their needs and spending power. They want gifts that make them feel good to buy!
Heritage sector shops.
For example, historic attractions need items that are relevant to the heritage of the site, easy to transport and that create a lasting memory for the visitor. Retailers love our surname history scrolls because they offer great quality and value yet are very profitable and relevant. Visitors leave with a fabulous memento that they can show off to friends or family and talk about for years to come. Equally, there’s a wide range of gifts available to add to your collection, which can be purchased online at a later date, once your visitor has returned home.
The visitor experience now and in the future
Customer interaction and great service make a huge difference, and the Hall of Names system is great on both these counts. Your staff member shows the visitor the amazing history of their name on-screen, along with its earliest coat of arms – always a talking point! You’ll find that other visitors often listen in, and the resulting sales usually far exceed those of other products in-store. A dedicated staff member is not a necessity. Although in the experience of our retailers, it really does reap rewards in terms of customer interaction, engagement and ultimately sales.
But think of how you shop for yourself. How often have you bought something, only to wish later that you’d bought more of the same to give as gifts? Or when friends ask ‘where did you get that?’ only to discover that the shop is nowhere near and doesn’t have an online store? The ability to sell online should not be an afterthought, but a crucial part of every retailer’s offering. Otherwise, you’ll be missing out on important sales opportunities.
Don’t miss out on sales opportunities
If you are a tourist location or heritage sector retailer, have you considered how shoppers can be incentivised to spend more with you? You can of course consider discounts for bulk purchases. But you can also encourage them to return to your store online, long after they have visited in person.
We see evidence of others’ missed opportunities frequently on our own website. We ask our customers where they first heard about us and are often told that it is at one of our retailers. However, that sale could have gone direct to the retailer, if only they had an online shop section of their website. And it doesn’t need to be hard.
Is it easy to sell Hall of Names gifts online?
It is so simple! We offer a drop-shipping service, which means that we do the time consuming part for you, fulfilling and sending the orders direct to your customers. You just benefit from the sale. The only thing you need to do is send us the order. We can even create the artwork specific to your needs, providing all information to include. You’ve done the hard work in setting up a website, so it makes perfect sense to make the most of all those online sales opportunities. Plus, this also allows you to expand the range, offering other gifts with coats of arms. You’ll be diversifying your revenue streams and increasing profit. Read more about becoming a Hall of Names retailer here.
Looking to the new season…
Visit Britain is predicting that visits from overseas will almost be back up to pre-pandemic levels (35.1m against 40.9m in 2019). Retailers need to be prepared to meet the opportunities that this inbound tourism offers.
For example, many of those visitors will be from countries such as the United States, who are eager to discover the history of the UK and how it relates to their own heritage. Each of these visitors has a surname likely to be on our database of more than a million names. And you’ll be able to print its fascinating history for them to take home. Then they can come back to your online store to purchase more as gifts. Plus you can even offer a wide range of other gifts. It sounds simple, because it is simple!
How to set up with Hall of Names
We’d be delighted to help you move forward as a Hall of Names retailer, both in your physical shop and your online store. The system is quick and easy to set up, you’ll be meeting the huge trends for personalised gifts and family research. Plus, you’ll be providing visitors with an affordable yet meaningful souvenir to purchase from your shop when they visit, and from your online store long after they’ve returned home!
If you’d like to join the many other Hall of Names retailers across the UK, please contact email@example.com. If you have questions about how it all works, please visit our ‘Frequently asked Questions’ or call 01984 632120 for an informal chat. We are with you every step of the way to ensure your success, and promise you’ll never look back!