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There’s no doubt about it…the future is bright for bricks-and-mortar retailers, particularly for those who are good at adapting.
The explosion in ecommerce led the retail world in to a frenzy and when certain physical shops didn’t change with the times, they ended up on the rubbish heap. Online retailers like ASOS and Amazon have been a big threat and have undoubtedly caused some chains to close but that does not signal the end of the line for bricks-and-mortar.
Online retail sales accounted for just 15.5% of all retail sales in March 2017. However, the split between online and instore varies by retail sector. The fastest growth online came from the fashion industry where ecommerce sales accounted for 15% of all retail sales in the sector whereas online grocery sales accounted for just 5% of retail sales in that category (Office for National Statistics, Retail Sales Report, March 2017).
Are your retail stores ‘future-ready’?
As we move rapidly towards the busy Christmas shopping season and the end of 2017, we’re going to let you in on our top tips for making sure your bricks-and-mortar estate is future-ready.
1. Win over the Millennials
Millennials are shaping the retail sector and they are without doubt the ones to watch and the people you should be appealing to. They are a new breed of consumer so you need to make sure they are at the heart of everything you do. The millennial generation are an influential demographic and are anything but traditional. Their approach to shopping is forcing retailers to rethink and revaluate how they attract and communicate with this group of consumers, who will undoubtedly have a large impact on future retail trends.
Millennials have certainly influenced the rise of digital channels across retail, with social media now playing a significant role in how retailers communicate and sell to their customers.
2. Invest in tech
Click and collect, contactless payments, self-service checkouts and scan as you shop are just a few of the things which have revolutionised the retail world and how we shop over the last few years.
Tech changes have a big impact on floor plans and layouts so make sure you consider the impact of the technology and take this in to account when planning and budgeting for new innovations.
Invest in tech that will make the best use of your customer data. If you don’t know your customers inside and out and use it to grow your business, you will be left behind by your competitors.
Point of purchase technology is a growing trend, making the physical shopping experience faster, simple and more enjoyable.
- Install Bluetooth beacons to connect with your customers when they are within range.
- Implement mobile POS checkouts so customers can make quick instore purchases.
Retailers should implement ‘behind the scenes’ tech to give them complete visibility of their entire store estate. This will equip them to flight economic uncertainty and stay ahead of their competitors.
3. Go Omni!
Multi-channel, or omni-channel, retailing is about putting the customer at the heart of operations and integrating physical and digital experiences to complement consumer lifestyles.
Forward-thinking stores will increase their presence across a number of channels, including the high street, online, mobile, along with services like click and collect.
Omni-channel marketing also enables smarter merchandising decisions to be made as merchandisers can plan without having to consider stock levels within individual stores as much as they previously needed to. With greater analysis of what sells better in stores vs online, buyers and merchandisers have the necessary knowledge to ensure their physical stores are stocked with the right products.
Download our free eBook on
Mobile Technology for Smart Retailers
If only there were ways for the High Street to maximise technology to compete with the rise of online shopping.