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The Challenges Independent Retail Businesses Face in 2022

The consumer market has evolved significantly in recent years. As a result, independent retailers have faced many challenges, from a dissipating high street to difficulty accessing marketing strategies.

This article will explore three of these challenges. We will also offer suitable solutions for independent retailers to thrive in the current climate.

Unoccupied high streets

Our high streets were once bustling with life and the promise of consumerism. They have become a ghostly shadow of the past, and once lively shopfronts now stand unoccupied. In fact, over 14% of retail stores were empty during the second quarter of 2021.

The surge in online retail trends can be utilised to explain this. According to Internet Retailing, 50% of consumers would rather buy their goods online than in a store. As a result, high street stores have become an unstable option for many retailers, including independents.

To overcome the challenges of an empty high street, independent retailers can consider the benefits of pop-up stores – a temporary alternative to bricks-and-mortar stores. Used throughout seasonal periods, pop-up stores can influence traffic drive, attracting customers during sale peaks.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a start-up business owner looking to get your foot in the door or an online store experimenting with in-person shopping. Pop-up shops could be the temporary solution you’ve been looking for to bring new life into our once-beloved high streets.

Standing out online

The Future Retail Distribution 2021-2022 report indicates that 38% of all sales in retail will be made online by 2026. If the online market continues to grow, independent retailers will need to electrify their brand and discover new ways to stand out from the crowd.

To outshine your competitors, your independent business should make use of accessible and user-friendly online resources, such as a website. As supported, on average 70-80% of customers may choose to avoid purchasing goods or services from a business without a website.

Navigating the online world can be daunting, especially if you’re not technologically trained. Website wizards allow independent retailers to create their own websites without the hassle. To name an example, EKM offers platforms for basic and advanced requirements. To assist in understanding the behaviour of your consumers, the platform provides useful website analytics.

Accessing marketing strategies

In order to drive customers to impressive websites, online retailers will need to invest in digital marketing. This can come in the form of pay-per-click advertising (PPC), search engine optimisation (SEO), social media marketing, and much more.

These marketing strategies work to increase your business’ online credibility. SEO, for example, raises your rankings on Google and other search engines. Therefore, when a customer searches for your product or services, they are more likely to come across your brand.

Digital marketing agencies offer these strategies for businesses. The services, however, may be too expensive for independent retailers. The average price for SEO services alone is £394.75 per day. Similarly, paid social media marketing amounts to £430 per day. These are both significant amounts of capital for independent businesses.

If you’re an independent retailer searching for the benefits of digital marketing, remember that you can start with the basics. This can be something as simple as a social media page. If your company sells a selection of button badges, for example, you may choose to post regular pictures of your products and interact with customers.

The average number of people using social media platforms is set to rise from 61 million to 64 million between 2022-2026. Considering this, we can see how using the social media tools available to every business owner can boost your online presence.


The nature of retail will continue to evolve throughout 2022. To be a successful retailer, independent or not, your business will need to adapt to these changes. How have you adapted your methods of operation in the past couple of years?