- Name: Imran Ahmed
- Shop: Premier Poplar Stores
- Location: Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
- Size: 1,100sq ft
- Staff: Two full-time, one part-time
The IAA’s Tom Gockelen-Kozlowski and PayPoint’s Matt Stringer join Imran Ahmed to learn how digital tools can grow his business.
Imran understands the importance of social media but his strategy has been disrupted since his Facebook account was hacked and suspended.
“There’s a lot of things I don’t know much about – such as the Beacon systems. I thought only Big DL did anything with beacons. I haven’t been spending enough time on social media but with summer coming up in the next few months it’s going to be crucial. We’re hoping to work with Deliveroo so now is the perfect time for some help and advice.”
1. Post engaging content on social media every day
Before his account was recently hacked, Imran was using Facebook to regularly showcase new products such as craft gins and local meats. Matt believes there is also an opportunity to use social media to talk about the extensive charity work they do.
“There’s a home for disabled children nearby and we raise funds so that at least twice a year they can go on holiday,” Imran says. This isn’t something he’s previously mentioned on social media.
“There’s a lot to work with,” says Matt. “When you work with other organisations they help you boost your post’s views and shares. Getting Facebook up again is a great first step, and regularly change your password to avoid hacking.
Action: Share the shop’s community work and new products on Facebook.
2. Create a strategy to engage the right people on the right platforms
Discussing other social networks, Matt recommends Imran tries WhatsApp, noting it’s a great way for retailers, and reps alike, to share ideas and best practice. “Retailers are often working 12 hours a day, plus time in the cash and carry, so WhatsApp will help where it’s not possible to go, for example, to a trade show,” says Matt.
Imran knows retailers who use WhatsApp and has heard good things: “There are forums on there and, if I think of trying something new, somebody who has tried it can give me advice.” He would also like to try Twitter or Snapchat – which younger shoppers are using. “These social networks provide great ways to communicate with customers we do orders and deliveries with.”
Action: Develop a strategy to see if WhatsApp is the best platform to advance the business.
3. Analyse your sales data to better understand your shoppers
Matt is impressed that Imran is using his PayPoint One device to widen the ways customers can pay. “Customers use cash, contactless, their phone or watch – you’ve got the latest technology and can serve customer quicker,” he says.
Imran explains he also uses the data to see how his shoppers shop: “We do lots of phone top ups and see that there’s often sim card sales happening with them. We’ve moved sim cards closer to the counter to aid this purchase.” Matt suggests checking on-screen payments data daily and running weekly tailored promotions, adding “Retailers see mums between 8am-10.30am, so nappies and related products can be featured at these times.”
Action: Identify sales patterns using PayPoint One and run weekly targeted promotions.
“Imran is a great independent retailer who’s doing a lot for his community. If he can get Facebook up and running again that will be great. He’s involved with the school and good causes, but he’s not getting enough good press, which social media can help with. We’ve also shown him how to get full reports through his PayPoint One which can help Imran run tailored promotions for specific customer groups.”
Matt Stringer, Regional Development Manager, PayPoint
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