My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

Welsh Businesses Drive Growth with Digital Innovation and Expansion into New Markets

At a recent awards ceremony, Welsh businesses were celebrated for a range of achievements including meeting the demands of the market, digital innovation and the prioritisation of their customers’ needs.  A recent survey of small businesses in the UK revealed that over 50% had plans for expansion this year, and these are all aspirational goals that could help local retail enterprises to achieve growth. One of the top aims of growing Welsh businesses over the next six months is to diversify into new markets, and build a better online presence which can help a retail company to reach a wider customer base. An attractive website designed for ecommerce is an essential starting point but user experience can be further enhanced with innovative digital tools including AI and AR (augmented reality) that can help to market their products, attract online custom and increase internet sales.
Increasing Sales with a Tailor-Made Website
While online sales appear to have levelled off recently, over the past ten years figures for internet purchases have remained high in the UK, where, according to the International Trade Administration, online shopping is more popular than in any other country. For local businesses wanting to take advantage of steady sales to a wider customer base, good web design is vital for a move from brick-and-mortar stores to online retail. An easily managed and bespoke website will not only help to market the products on offer but, with additional e-commerce capability, will also increase sales.
Improving Customer Service with AI
Over 50% of small businesses are now embracing the growing trend for AI and more are planning to employ it in the future.  For any local business, AI can be useful in several aspects of commerce from security to marketing, but a particular advantage for retailers is the enhancement of customer service. Improving customer service is essential in order to attract new clients, build customer loyalty and increase sales.  AI virtual agents can improve the overall customer experience by responding quickly to issues and answering common questions in real time, while businesses benefit from the analysis of customer behaviour and predictions in upcoming trends in shopping habits.
Enhancing Consumer Experience with AR
A major advantage of brick-and-mortar shops is that they offer the ability to physically test products, and for this reason, over 50% of consumers have traditionally preferred to buy clothes in store. However, with the use of increasingly sophisticated AR, local clothing retailers wanting to boost their internet sales can still offer shoppers the opportunity to try on virtual items of clothing, accessories and cosmetics in the comfort of their own home.
While the number of online sales have stabilised recently, they are increasingly important to the expansion of many small retail businesses. Digital technology can help to develop and maintain interest in internet shopping, starting with a user-friendly website designed for e-commerce which will attract new customers.  AI and AR can then be employed to further support their needs and enhance their shopping experience, with the ultimate aim of encouraging more sales.