“The independent market is central to our strategy…”

In response to the recent call to arms issued by Ian Davidson, the owner of Liverpool-based nursery retailer Babylicious, Peg Perego’s UK country manager Phil Howe offers some valuable insight into the importance of promoting independent retailers through social media.

“Since we launched in the UK, the independent market has been central to our strategy. These shops are the lifeblood of our high streets and offer an unparalleled personal service for new parents who are often perplexed by the variety of choice.

Social media exposure is critical to small business, given that 42% of digital users globally now use social media as their primary source for researching brands, products and services and 49% of digital users in the UK have bought through social media. What’s more, a significant proportion of our customer services comes through social media.

As kindly mentioned by Lorraine Zanker, owner of Trendy Baby, we continually plug our retail base in social posts and link to buy from them in our media coverage. When we launched in 2017, we posted the list of our independent retailers within the ‘Notes’ section of our Facebook page and continually drive customer service enquiries to the list, encouraging them in to store to research and make a purchase.

Yes it’s vital to maintain a strong brand presence online, but social media is growing exponentially as the forum consumers use to research, interact and purchase. PayPal’s fourth annual commerce index forecasts that 600,000 UK British businesses will activate social media commerce channels within the next six months (double the current number). And, given that a quarter of new mums spend between two and three days researching a product for their baby, it’s critical that we take them on the journey from research, to trial, to purchase.

Our strategy is clear in this respect – we will continue to support our independent retailer base through these channels.”

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