How (and why) to cater for your customers’ New Year’s resolutions

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Retail is all about finding ways to supply your customers with the products that they want. Of course, it isn’t possible to cater to everyone, but businesses that are receptive and responsive to new trends stand to perform significantly better than those that don’t. 

According to a survey from 2020, over 13 million Brits made New Year’s resolution – although how many stuck to their guns is another question entirely. With so many people setting a new course at the beginning of January each year, resolutions present a real opportunity for businesses to tailor their offering to their customer base.

With this in mind, we look at some of 2021’s most popular New Year’s resolutions, so you can start turning a profit from the “New Year, New Me” movement.

Sustainable retail is in

Going green could really buy you some ground with consumers this year, as people turn to conservationism in greater numbers than ever before. According to figures supplied by environmental charity Hubbub, as many as 1 in 6 adults have vowed to adopt a more sustainable way of living in an effort to reduce their impact on the world. 

With such a strong movement behind sustainability, it only makes sense that businesses who want to remain current must move with the times and decrease their own impact on the planet in order to retain environmentally conscious customers.

Whether you perform a full audit of your supply chain and seek out the very greenest of products to sell, or simply start stocking recycling aids to ensure your customers can stay on top of their New Year’s resolutions, sustainability is set to become a non-negotiable business priority in 2021.

Plant-based power

In a very similar way, retail businesses that stock consumables could improve their financial performance by stocking a greater variety of plant-based products.

As we move into 2021, industry monitor Talking Retail have shown that almost half a million people have signed up for ‘Veganuary’ – the 31-day long vegan challenge. These figures will come as no surprise to the grocers that have been monitoring dietary trends over the past several years, but the sheer number of consumers interested in stepping back from animal products is nothing if not impressive. 

For businesses in the food and cookery space, ‘Veganuary’ presents an ideal opportunity to stock a broad range of plant-based products and even cooking equipment. Whether it is a vegan cookbook, a ‘Meatless-Monday’ planner or even dietary replacements, there’s plenty of scope to get involved – and there can be little doubt that veganism will continue to grow as time goes on. 

Fitness first

Joining a gym is an absolute staple of New Year’s resolutions – but this year it probably won’t be all that feasible for those who want to get fanatical about fitness in the UK. With leisure facilities and gyms closed because of ongoing restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems likely that the nation will return to the at-home workouts that were popularised by Joe Wickes during 2020.

For retailers that want to get involved in keeping the nation fit and healthy whilst the gyms are closed, stocking fitness equipment and protein supplements could be the way to go. 

If you want to get even more granular about your business’s response to the latest fitness trends, it might even be time to look away from dumbbells and to step out of the running trainers. Figures from Men’s Health show that the popularity of yoga workouts rose by over 600% lockdown, making for a clear retail winner that is both stylish and zen.

What’s clear is that wellness is very much in the spotlight, and brands that capitalise on the current wave of health junkies can look forward to a lucrative year ahead.

The great outdoors

Just as the gyms are closed, it seems too that workplaces and pretty much anywhere communal will also have to shut their doors for the foreseeable future. Due to social distancing guidelines, it follows that members of the public might set their sights on more time spent outside during 2021. 

From gardening and cycling through to plain old walking, there are plenty of ways to supply your customers with everything they need to get out into nature and enjoy some fresh air. If you do not stock clothing, there are plenty of other products to get involved with such as maps, energy-dense foods and other such hiking supplies that are in hot demand as a result of people spending more time stuck at home.

Making New Year’s resolutions that bit easier

However, it is that you want to support your customers in keeping to their New Year’s resolutions, there are a good few 2021 pledges that some retailers could benefit from themselves.

For one thing, the coronavirus pandemic has made it more important than ever for businesses to have a functional and fresh-looking space online. Regardless of whether you have an existing website or not, investing a little time and money into your online presence could reap rewards in the months and years to come. Engaging with a digital marketing expert, for instance, could allow you to increase your reach, whilst getting down to business with search engine optimisation (SEO) could allow your site to rise through the search engine rankings – attracting more visitors and leading to better sales figures.

Naturally, you’ll need to make certain that your business-critical infrastructure is up to standard too – and that means investing in robust and reliable payment solutions that allow your customers to finalise their transactions. Choosing the right solution can lend a degree of credibility to any business website, and a UTP e-commerce payment gateway is one of the best you can choose. Providing a seamless payment process for online checkouts, it will make your life easier and your customer journey smoother. And if you are one of those lucky businesses classes as “essential”, make sure you have enough card machine paper for your in-store payment solution.

As we dive headfirst into 2021, there is nothing to stop businesses from improving their performance by listening to their customers and setting a few New Year’s resolutions. With an informed view of this year’s most popular trends and a high-quality online presence, a profitable year is in sight.