‘Following trends helped my business grow’

September 28, 2013 7:15 pm The UK Domain

“Gob stoppers, dip dabs, bon bons… like most people I loved traditional sweets as a child. But it was only when I was researching my business plan that I noticed the rise in popularity of retro sweet shops and that the gap in my local Bristol high street could turn into a viable business.

I had always wanted a small retail shop with a larger, web based business attached. Sweetie Pie opened in 2009 in Bristol selling over 200 kinds of traditional sweets, and my website sweetiepiesweets.co.uk followed soon after. I chose a .co.uk website to help demonstrate that I’m a trusted business based in Britain.

Responding to a rise in consumer demand helped me establish my business. Here are four more ways my business has grown by paying attention to trends:

1. Selecting the right products

While I sell hundreds of types of sweets in my shop, there are even more opportunities to develop my range online. I use analytics and Google’s search trends to keep a close eye on my website and make sure there aren’t any gaps in my product range. My website also gives me the opportunity to trial new seasonal ranges and types of gifts to see if there’s a demand.

2. Emphasising British quality

The ‘buying British’ trend is increasing, and traditional sweets and Britishness go hand-in-hand. I represent this through my regional sweetshop award – displayed prominently online and proudly in my shop window. By choosing a .co.uk for my website, potential customers know immediately I’m a British business, and that my products are of great UK quality. Click here to get your .co.uk domain

3. Developing niche products

Identifying areas to develop niche products has helped bring in bulk orders and get my business name out there through word of mouth. Developing my wedding favour range was all about researching what people were searching for online and giving them exactly what they need. With weddings there’s so much competition, so as well as getting the product ranges right, the imagery is vital too. Straightaway customers need to imagine your product as the perfect part of their special day.

4. Targeting corporate clients

There has been a real rise in businesses using personalised gifts for clients, events or marketing. Based on the affection people have for retro sweets, I knew this was something I could use to my advantage. I’ve made sure the corresponding products on my website are prominent and created a dedicated corporate page emphasising the service and personalisation available for orders.

Click here to see more success stories like Vanessa’s