There are more similarities between online and offline retail than there are differences, which is exactly why they also have multiple similar needs as well. Maintenance of public relations is one of those common needs that all retailers share, whether they operate over the internet or not. In fact, even if the business is comparatively small, they cannot ignore the importance PR holds. We will try and shed some light on that statement with a few brief points next.
The ‘good or bad’ logic
When it comes to maintaining relationships with the public, there’s no gray area here. Either your target audience will see you in a good light, or they will see you in a bad light and when the marketing is really poor, they won’t see you at all, because your brand will be in the dark! Of course, this never applies to 100% of the relevant crowd, but the majority will always choose to keep it simple.
Why this concerns even micro retail businesses
This affects or benefits each and every retailer out there, irrespective of their online/offline status, or size. If you believe that your retail business is too small to be affected positively or negatively by public opinion, then the company is in the third zone of PR, which is to say, most people that should have an opinion about your business don’t even know it exists.
As soon as your marketing efforts take the proper route and the business begins to gain visibility, rest assured that it will be subject to and affected/benefitted by public opinions. This is precisely what makes PR important for every retailer because if you have a decent enough business, PR can help you grow more reputable, profitable and bigger.
How to manage the cost of PR
Now that we have established the importance of PR for e-retailers and offline retailers of all sizes, it’s time to address the elephant in the room; can you really afford a PR campaign?
Only the particular business owner can answer that question because the answer has too many variables to provide a generic solution here. However, since there is a common problem that everyone shares, there is also a common solution that might help a lot of small retail businesses make their companies more fluid and cost-effective.
E-retailers and new start-ups can get started with, or even shift their current operations to a dropshipping business model to save an astounding amount of time and money on inventory management and supply chain logistics. These funds could then be redirected towards funding the marketing, branding, and public relations campaigns a retailer needs. The process makes retail operations leaner, saves a lot of money and cuts out a whole section of regular hassles from the equation.
The nature of retail is such that it deals directly with the public, so it doesn’t matter what the medium is, or how big/small the retailer happens to be; maintaining good PR with active steps and regular campaigns is a must in this industry.