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Is retail moving back to single category selling?

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In an age of endless choice, it can be hard for retailers, both online and in-person, to stand out from the crowd. Introducing a wide variety of products so that you have something for everyone may seem like the obvious choice, but in 2022, is that really the answer?

Over the last few years, we’ve seen furniture makers selling candles, jewellers selling homewares and booksellers stocking gifts. Whilst these alignments all make sense and are resulting in success for a lot of brands, at a time when customers are becoming more considered with their purchases than ever before, the argument for keeping a product offering niche opposed to general has never been stronger. 

As more people took an added interest in craft, DIY and artistry over lockdown, we’ve seen a growing appreciation for artisans, craftsmanship and speciality. This, combined with extra thought for buying pieces with longevity, less frequently, means we could see a shift back to speciality, single category retail.

 

The benefits of keeping things tight

By focusing on a niche, you as a store owner or designer can really let your expertise and passion shine; establishing yourself as an authority in your chosen space. If you are looking to add additional categories, keep them well-aligned to further give you customer insight into your vision and style so that they can feel connected to your product curation. 

One of the benefits of keeping product categories tight is that you don’t need to spend valuable time staying abreast of trends, new suppliers and happenings in several industries and areas. Instead, you have a clear USP and can focus on the ones that excite you and your customers most. 

From an SEO and digital advertising point of view, single or fewer product categories also mean your ad spend doesn’t need to be spread too thin and that your keywords will be strengthened through repetition and alignment. 

Fewer categories also equal fewer suppliers to deal with and, potentially greater buying power through the ability to place larger quantity and value orders through single wholesale sellers. 



What to be wary of

Of course, fewer suppliers can, at times, also be something to be wary of, as too much reliance on just one could be an issue should something go wrong. 

Putting all of your eggs in one basket also means less room to experiment and test what your customers like, however you could use social media to reach them directly to see what else they might like to see from your retail offering. 

 

Of course, the obvious draw to selling multiple products is the additional revenue it can bring, which is not to be discounted. However, the added difficulty in establishing a usp, brand recognition and authority could counteract that in the long term. 

It would seem that in modern-day retail, the answer lies in establishing your speciality and keeping any additional categories, if that’s what you’d prefer, incredibly tight and relevant. However, another option, if you do want to explore additional products in your store before committing, would be to host pop-ups and partnerships with other expert creators or curators like yourself. 

So tell us, in 2022 are you planning to add or streamline the product offering within your store?



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Written by Jordan Evans
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Written by Jordan Evans

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