A Guide To Shop Insurance

Owning and running a shop can be hard enough work in itself, often seven days a week, without the additional worry of what might happen to your livelihood should the worst happen. Fortunately there are many different shop insurance policies available today covering all the risks that a retailer might face in running a business from a premises that sells goods and services to the public.

A shop insurance policy will contain a variety of covers, packaged up for the convenience of the shopkeeper.

These include shop buildings and contents cover, stock in trade cover, business interruption and loss of profits, money cover and staff fidelity insurance, legal protection, window & glass cover for shop fronts, goods in transit, public liability, employers liability, and various options to cover shop specific risks. Shop insurance packages will include as standard most of the above risks, whilst some insurers allow the prospective policyholder to select the covers that are appropriate for their particular type of shop.

Shop Insurers use various basic rating factors to decide premiums and postcode and annual turnover are major factors.

The location of your shop will largely determine the price you pay for cover, in particular for shop stock and contents. A shop located in a run down housing estate with known propensity for theft and vandalism will command a much higher premium than one located in a modern shopping centre with street security and CCTV. Annual turnover is used to calculate cover levels such as the impact of a loss on a shops ability to trade.

Shop buildings insurance covers the costs of rebuilding the shop and the costs of replacing the shop front, which is invariably made of glass. All buildings insurance covers permanent fixtures and fittings such as toilets and doors. This cover is available for both shop owners and those who lease the property.

Shop contents insurance covers all the additional shop fittings and equipment that is used in the daily running of the business. Most insurance companies will require a breakdown of the contents of the shop into sums insured fo business equipment, fixtures and fittings, electrical and computer equipment, tenants improvements, refrigerated stock and all other stock.

Shops that require protection for high risk goods held on the premises will usually need to declare the total values of each stock item. High risk shop stock and goods are those that attract thieves and are expensive to replace. Examples of high risk stock items are electronic equipment, cigarettes, and tobacco, designer clothing, computers and digital equipment, software, computer games and consoles, drugs pharmacy and medicines, watches and jewellery, mobile phones and radios, photographic equipment, power tools, TVs, DVDs, CDs and Wines and Spirits.

If your shop has high risk stock you can reduce the cost of your premiums by having adequate security in place. This includes an insurance company approved burglar and fire alarm, window grills, shutters and bars, CCTV and sprinklers. Many shop insurers will only offer stock cover if the minimum levels of security are in place for all shops, regardless of the stock contents held. A lot of insurers may offer further large discounts to the premium if the shop owner lives on or above the premises and is there at night.

Shops by their very nature deal with members of the public and a good insurance policy will usually contain liability cover as standard. This should include Public Liability of up to £2,000,000 for any one claim by a member of the public who may suffer loss or injury visiting the shop.

If you employ staff all policies will offer Employers Liability cover of up to £10,000,000 one event and because shops sell goods and services, Products Liability cover of £2,000,000 for any one period of insurance.

Other standard features of a shop insurance policy are various levels of cover for Legal expenses and Legal protection, Employers, Public and Products Liability, Loss of profits, Glass and Sanitary Ware, Money cover and staff Personal Accident assault, Business Interruption, Goods in Transit, Loss of Licence, Treatment Risks and Seasonal increases in stock contents value.



What is the future for Online Marketing

Online marketing is a very dynamic area and moves and innovates very rapidly. Until recently it has been a immature market but as the importance of and understanding of the online world has become more widespread it is now very much a mainstream area. So what does the future look like?

Like it or not the importance of big business and big brands are going to only increase in their importance this is because Fake News and legal disputes over user generated content (UGC) is rising and the law around the world is now moving to hold the publisher of this problem content responsible. Big brands are more likely to have their own quality control teams, online marketing teams, and other online professionals than smaller outfits and also to have larger promotional budgets.

Video content has been very popular from day one, but now high speed fibre broadband is really spreadingly large players are starting to make their moves to capture the offline world, ie television audiences. Brands such as Facebook/Youtube and the like are after breaking into the setting room next!.

How can this trend be of use to non big brand business wanting to do well with online marketing? Well the answer is to grow your own brand, by using a multi-channel approach you can expand using different channels to market your business and create and promote content that includes video. That means creating semi professional promotional videos for your business and making use of that to promote your product around the web.

The other important change is the performance of website, both in terms of speed and of user experience, Google has been refining its online marketing algorithm since 2010 with both of these factors in mind, increasingly the younger generation expect websites to be very responsive and mobile friendly. With the vast amounts of data available to it Google, not to mention the huge number of Phd’s they employ they have been able to infer users experiences using metrics they have access to. Google is able to gather data from its Chrome browser and combine it with data it buys in from ISP’s and other browsers such as Firefox, plus of course Google Adwords, Google Search Console and Google Analytics data. All of these sources together gives it very significant insight into what pages on a site users visit, for how long, and where they go next.

What is the future for Online Marketing

Online marketing – SEO

From its Google streetmap data it knows the IP addresses associated with each area and can therefore work out if a website appeals to a location specific area or for more national or international audiences. By comparing the results for the same query it can identify sites that users like the most and the least, based on their bounce rates, time on page and what happens to the user in future, if their IP regularly visits a site that is a sign of either an association with it or one that has a loyal customer. Crunching these huge datasets then allows Google to assign a user metric quality score to a website based on the “experience” as measured by all of these factors.

A trend that is increasingly important for online marketing is the user experience, Google the leading search engine has invested a lot of time and effort into measuring this in a quantifiable and scientific way, they are using measures such as Time on Page, Bounce rate and time to last contextual paint (load time) to compare websites to their peer groups, sites that don’t then measure up and pushed down in the rankings and therefore loose out on traffic. Users are increasingly expecting sites to be responsive and fast, particularly the younger age groups, generation X for example, and Google is responding to that by rewarding sites that are fast.

Building links from quality sites is also a great way of increasing the Authority of your website from the Search Engine point of view. If you need help in areas like this, then why not contact us we offer Finance Directors on a part time / Portfolio basis but also have FD’s who also have more than 15 years on online marketing experience, that is a one of the Unique Selling Points of an FD Capital FD! To learn about what Domain Authority is and why it is important for SEO read our recent blog post on it. Quality links are hard to acquire particularly from diverse websites within a niche, and so again are an indicator of a sites quality. The rate of link acquisition or loss is also a useful indicator as it highlights if a site is on its way up in the world or is a former well known site in decline. Measuring link velocity in this way then gives Google another insight into how users rate a site, and how active its owners are in its promotion, all again indicators of quality, or at least quality as defined by Google.

What is the future for Online Marketing

So the future is likely to be dominated by larger corporates who have the budgets to market their websites building significant backlink profiles and having the resources to invest in high quality user experiences with fast and slick websites that work perfectly on different devices, PCs, tablets, phones, watches and more. There is always of course room in the market for competition, but to succeed in the new online world, you need a strong understanding of how the Search Engines work, and the capability to build a website that users truly enjoy using and find the products or services they want from it.