What D2C ecommerce retailers can learn from shops on Oxford street

By April 12, 2019Digital strategy

Today we’re on Oxford Street. And it got me thinking, what can ecommerce brands, or traditional retailers wanting to scale their D2C revenues online, learn from all these shops right here on one of the busiest retail streets in the UK.

Right now, so many retailers and wholesalers are ecommerce and D2C obsessed and this is because the barriers to entry are much lower than setting up on Oxford Street, and the opportunity, both in terms of margins and with selling to customers around the world, is much greater.

And I think that online retailers, especially newer brands, have so much to learn from those who have been here, for years, on Oxford Street and who have seen millions of potential customers come through their doors.

There is a never ending list of things that real world retailers do to get sales, many of which we know about just by going into shops. Think of all those shops that have someone smiley and enchanting at the door to welcome you as you walk in. And as you look around, someone else comes up to ask if they can help. In beauty, people spend all day demonstrating products to customers.

Think of how they arrange their windows and their products, and how they try to upsell you smaller items as you go to pay. They also have to make sure their shop is on the right street with enough of the right people going past it or that people care enough to make the trip to visit their shop.

And think of all the shops you don’t buy from because the staff are rude or the changing rooms queues are too long.

If you’re a retailer standing in a shop surrounded by all your products, it’s probably easy to say to yourself ‘what can we do to help make this more attractive to our customers’ than it is if you are an online store where you may think ‘we just need more website traffic’.

But all of the same principles apply. You have to get the right people to your online shop (ok so if you’re working with us that part is our job), and just like a shop adapts its windows, you need to constantly evolve your website. Make sure there are clear options for help and assistance. Do all you can to continuously present your products better and better and in a more compelling way. Remember that whether you have 10 or 10,000 visitors a day on your ecommerce store, each of them is an actual real life person and ask yourself, if this person were standing in front of me in my real world store right now, what would I do and say to show them just why my product is great, and how can you convey that same experience online.

In mass retail, most brands are going after the same customer. Take a baby brand, a make up brand, or a fashion brand, they’re all after that same 25 – 45 female consumer who only has so much to spend and is deciding whether to spend it on Brand A, Brand B or Brand C. And it’s up to you to convince that person to spend their money with you.

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