Western & English Today

Summer 2018

W&E Today provides retailers and manufacturers with education and ideas that provoke innovation in the Western and English markets.

Issue link: https://wetoday.epubxp.com/i/990668

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Page 15 of 35

SUMMER 2018 By Holly Henderson and Emily C. Laskowski E very year, we seek to help our industry strategize for the future. is year, we polled 184 retailers to find out what they faced in 2017 — and what they're expecting for 2018. Of these respondents, the majority are the owners themselves of single storefronts that have been in business for more than 15 years, and oen, for more than 30. Compared to last year, there was one significant difference that caught our at- tention particularly. In 2017, 68 percent of respondents said they used social me- dia for advertising purposes. is year, that number jumped to 76 percent — in fact, it was the only advertising medium to see an uptick. e numbers for TV, radio, newspapers, and the Internet all dropped, while advertising in magazines, billboards, and direct mail stayed the same. To dig deeper into the shiing digital landscape, we expanded our questions regarding the use of social media and website development. For example, we asked retailers more about how they structure their social media strategy and digital presence, and what their predictions are for online sales. While nearly 39 percent of respondents said that up to a quarter of their annual gross sales came from online, about 26 percent saw no sales from online, and 11 percent told us they don't sell online at all. We believe that creating a curated space in the online retail market is just as valuable as building a brick-and-mortar store can be. Aer all, nearly 75 percent of the retailers who participated in this survey said they use the Internet to shop for wholesale products for their stores — in fact, more than half prefer a website or email to place orders. at begs the question: Wouldn't customers feel the same way about how they shop and order for themselves? If it's all about the customer, then shouldn't service extend beyond the storefront? We hope you'll consider these questions and take a closer look at the respons- es we received this year. For any questions regarding the survey, please visit wetoday.com. STATE OF THE INDUSTRY 2 0 1 8 R E P O R T Q1: What is your functional responsibility? 76.63% OWNER 26.09% MANAGER Q2: How many total locations does your store have? SINGLE STORE 88.59% 2 TO 5 8.15% 6 TO 10 1.63% 11 OR MORE 1.63% *Some respondents serve as both. 14 Western & English Today

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