Angus BurrellAngus BurrellSeptember 16, 2019
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8min1411

The ‘high street’ we used to know simply doesn’t exist anymore.

While independent retailers are struggling, household names are also feeling the pressure, shuttering at an unsettling rate. In fact, according to the British Retail Consortium, the number of empty shops in town centres is at its highest level since 2015, with over 10 percent of shops currently left vacant. This is only four percent lower than the figure of 14 percent a decade ago, which was recorded right after the 2008 global financial crisis.

The latest victims, Karen Millen and Coast, have continued the unfortunate demise of the high street, but the suffering extends past traditional high street retail. Bookmaker William Hill is closing 700 stores and axing 4500 jobs, indicating that the high street isn’t just taking a hit within the retail industry. As customers have flocked to quicker and more convenient online options, the traditional high street has struggled to retain a distinct role in customers’ lives. This has had an undeniable impact on what was once the beating heart of many city centres and local communities.

Time to revitalise

If the high street is to regain its former status, it has to focus on the needs of today’s consumers and put Customer Experience first as a way to differentiate itself. While this may sound obvious, right now this isn’t being done. Nowadays, customers want more than just products; they also crave an experience to go alongside the products – one that can only be facilitated in a physical environment. By differentiating on customer service and experience, retailers can reinforce their business, growing loyalty and driving continued engagement from their customers.

Microsoft, for example, recently opened their first European store in London. The three-storey shop on the corner of Oxford Circus has a gaming lounge, a learning theatre, and a dedicated business area. The store has multiple zones to cater to their customers’ needs, allowing them to immerse themselves in their latest innovations, and engage with them on a deeper and more personal level.

A shared responsibility

In order for the high street’s turnaround to be successful, all stakeholders must commit to a single vision for the high street, rather than sole responsibility falling on one party. This task won’t be easy, so it requires retailers alongside landlords and local councils to work together to make the high street an exciting and rewarding place to visit.

To make a change, each stakeholder has to play their part. Keeping Customer Experience at its core, local councils and authorities can focus on basic issues like improved transport links and free parking. Likewise, retailers themselves need to completely rethink the in-store experience. They can’t focus on only one channel – they must consider their physical, digital, and social presence and bring these elements together. By doing this, they can create a single experience of their brand, regardless of channel.

There’s no doubt that the solution to this transformation won’t be quick. However, listening to each stakeholder’s opinions and insights is critical. Failing to address fundamental issues or respond to areas of opportunity will contribute further to the high street’s demise. Such has been seen in Lowestoft, where expensive parking had a notable impact on footfall – resulting in numerous store closures.

Luckily, there are some British high streets that are leading the way and starting this transformation. Doncaster Council, for example, has prioritised the future development of the high street and acknowledged that it needs to be an experience destination. Doncaster Council plans to consolidate the quality of retail offerings in an area identified as their ‘Retail Core’. In turn, they will free up nearby areas where shop vacancy rates are higher, redeveloping and giving them a new identity within the city. It’s time that other councils around the country follow their lead and respond to local retail trends.

Rejuvenate the returns process

Kicking off a transformation is daunting, but starting with small changes can make a real difference – provided it doesn’t just stop there. Valitor’s recent research on the After Payment Emotional Experience (APEX) discovered that more than half (54 percent) of consumers expect at least a basic level of care after making a purchase.

Undeniably, returns are one of the main elements of the after-care experience. Their importance was highlighted again by almost two thirds (60 percent) of shoppers who claimed they wouldn’t shop with a retailer if there were any issues returning a product. With almost one in four (38 percent) consumers wanting to return items to a store, retailers must look at adapting their stores to facilitate an improved returns experience. Addressing such issues will make a retailer stand out from their competitors on the high street, helping them thrive in these difficult times. 

Ultimately, resurrecting the high street comes down to a number of stakeholders, who must be willing to work cooperatively. The question is, will they commit to put the interests of the consumers first? Retailers have to spark the changes to the high street, rather than simply wait for them to happen. Focusing on issues such as returns policies and perfecting the approach to this is an ideal way to encourage modern consumers to visit in-store.

The future for bricks and mortar stores doesn’t have to be bleak, but it’s crucial that we commit to a single consumer-led omni-channel vision of the high street to turn the situation around.


Koen SmeetsKoen SmeetsMay 29, 2019
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9min912

You’ve invested in market research into your customer base and you’ve developed a catchy strapline to lure them in-store with a brand promise.

You’ve commissioned some beautiful photography for the national campaign and secured high-value ad placements to engage your target customers. Sparked into action by the TV, print ad, and billboard working in harmony, they are triggered to engage with your brand. Your marketing strategy is working beautifully.

That is until they use their mobile phone to engage with the local store.

They key in your brand name to Google. The first thing that pops up is a poor rating for the nearest location. The photography, unlike the glossy billboard ad, is average. The opening hours are incorrect or, even worse, the local store the customer is searching for isn’t open on the day in question or has been closed altogether.

By failing to optimise at the local level, the brand has failed to deliver its promise and your customer starts scrolling for alternatives. This is an all-too-common experience for so many brands. They have invested millions in their branding without investing in the attention to detail required to understand how customers search and shop. In today’s challenging high street conditions. this isn’t just a nice to have, it is essential to get this right for the health of your business.

The key to winning at local is understanding how people access your brand. It’s estimated that 50 percent of us use Google to search for local information. This is of course driven by the astonishing uptake in mobile internet access. According to the most recent ONS figures for 2017, 73 percent of adults accessed the internet ‘on the go’ using a mobile phone or smartphone, more than double the 2011 rate of 36 percent.

However, your phone isn’t only your communication tool, your entertainment, and your source of information, but also your navigational tool and, increasingly, your payment method. Your phone is the digital footprint of your everyday life. Google understands this, and it’s crucial that retailers understand it too. Google, of course, just reflects the nature of how people are searching. Search for ‘parking’ and Google won’t show you what parking means or the history of parking – instead, it will show you information about where you can park in the local area, because this is what you are interested in.

The same applies for any brand. The first thing Google will tell you is where you can locally access this brand with a map and store information. It’s the same for Facebook or indeed any other digital way of interacting with your brand. So how can you optimise your brand for the local experience? There are four questions you need to ask yourself.

1. Can consumers find your locations, and the right information pertinent to their search?

In other words, have you enriched your local data? For a retailer, this would mean correct opening times, good local photography, and relevant product information. This needs to be accurate on the full suite of platforms, from Google to TomTom to Facebook to Apple Maps. This is also where technology can really help. The right technology platform will enable you to do this in real time across all your locations and maintain this level of accuracy. Get this right and our research shows you can expect an ROI of 3:1

2. Is there relevant local information about your products and services based on your location?

This is about pulling out key relevant local information to boost contextual local search. If a gym is the only one in an area with a swimming pool, this will need to be pulled out and flagged to ensure keywords are optimised. Ideally, you should also create unique landing pages to attract people searching for local swimming pools. The same principles apply if you are a retailer offering late-night shopping. These pages will get more visibility and you will be able to maximise the opportunity for people searching for these terms. Take your national content and make it relevant locally.

3. Are you appealing with engaging local experiences?

Once you have your location ready and your content localised, go after your customers with appealing local experiences. A retail client of ours wanted to increase traffic to their pet products area. We created a promo on Britain’s celebrity cats and dogs and made it relevant at a local level with testimonials and local celebrity pets. We then drove them in-store or to ecommerce experiences depending on the priority of the brand in different areas or distance to a local store.

4. Are you personalising the experience for converted customers to generate repeat purchases?

The rich seam of information provided from customers’ sales histories will identify crucial local information. For instance, if they live near a beach and their history shows they have bought beach gear at a certain month in the past, you can suggest other relevant products at the right time of year, whether it’s sunglasses, beach bags or sun cream. The more touchpoints you have with the customer, the better the targeting – and the more relevant the offer. Localised data presents a rich picture of customer behaviour.

The crucial factor in all of this is putting the customer at the heart of your business. Remember that when they search for your business, they expect a business to deliver a local response. This will allow you to connect with your customers whoever, and wherever, they are. If you don’t take these steps in the challenging current conditions you will lose the trust of customers and they will go with rivals who have taken these steps. In a world of high street closures and increasing choice, a locally optimised strategy is the best strategy to survive the turbulence and remain relevant.


Naeem ArifNaeem ArifMay 13, 2019
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10min907

A recent PWC report highlighted that 2018 saw the largest ‘net loss of retail stores’ on the high street.

We are consistently hearing about a retail ‘crisis’, and how difficult trading conditions suggest the high street is in demise. Our high streets and town centres are often the core of our communities and so we have invested a lot of resources investigating this issue.

However, we still see more than 500 new businesses form each week in the UK, so are we really seeing the demise of the high street or is something else happening?

Research by the Midlands Retail Forum (MRF) indicates that it is not all doom and gloom – there are many great examples of retailers and town centres getting it right. Experts say it’s about creating a great experience, but what does that mean in practical terms?

I recently visited the Touchwood Centre in Solihull and spent some time with their General Manager, Tony Elvin, to see how they were approaching this challenge.

Tony has an impressive CV as a former health club and hotel manager, which led to him being head-hunted to take on the challenge of managing this prestigious shopping outlet in one of the most affluent regions in the country. While many people talk about creating a great experience for their guests, a walk around the centre showed me exactly how his team were living and breathing this concept.

His approach can be summarised in a single sentence: “We are always thinking about how we can create a compelling reason for people to visit Touchwood.”

Where he could have said “important” or “unique”, he uses the word “compelling”, and that tells me the exact emotion that he is trying to create in his target customer. He has two customers in mind – businesses that can become tenants, and visitors to the centre.

Most shopping centres offer free Wi-Fi, coffee shops and easy parking. What else is needed?

“We are constantly looking at finding different ways to increase the number of people who will visit and once here, we want them to stay longer. We know that the longer they stay, the more money they are likely to spend,” Tony tells me.

Visiting somewhere like Touchwood means different things for different people; an avid shopper may want to walk down aisles of stores, browsing way more than they are buying. A focused shopper may need to come in for a specific item, pick it up and leave.

What about the ‘passengers’ – the husband/wife or kids who come along for the ride? The challenge is that a visiting family may have a mix of shoppers, who all need to be entertained. The answer is not to simply have more shops – you have to satisfy all these needs.

Most centres have some form of leisure activity, and in Touchwood’s case it has a cinema, restaurants, bars, and on top of that they also run theme-based activities. Recently they held an Easter egg hunt and a chocolate-themed escape room as a way of keeping kids entertained whilst their parents were shopping.

Some upcoming projects include concept restaurants that combine casual dining with a form of leisure activity. Food is an important part of the Touchwood experience and they are actively looking to strike a balance between trusted brands and new independent eateries to keep what’s on offer fresh and exciting. Tony himself recently helped to secure the arrival of two new independent dining concepts, with the launch of Carribbean eatery Jamaya and Asha’s restaurant in the centre.

“There is a lack of leisure activities available in Solihull and we are looking at more ways to increase those opportunities within Touchwood,” continues Tony.

“If we could get a gym, mini-golf, or bowling here, then it’s another reason for someone to visit and combine some shopping with leisure activities. We were delighted that we were able to entice Jamaya and Asha’s to join the Touchwood family. I knew the owners of each concept and knew that they would offer something different, but also deliver it at the appropriate quality for Touchwood’s visitors.”

The Touchwood team look to market trends as well as conducting their own research to keep updated on what their customers want. Social trends are monitored online, while feedback and comments are seen as opportunities to learn and improve. In addition, they also take feedback from their tenants and visitors and email out surveys.

The things they want to know include:

·      Who is visiting?

·      What triggers a visit?

·      What are the habits when they are in Touchwood?

This research has allowed them to understand that customers who use a click & collect service often go on to spend more when they come to collect. If a visitor is already here, it is more convenient for them to buy additional items in person than  to do so online.

Something Tony learned from his previous experience was how reaching out into the local community can help strengthen relations. Community projects are invited into Touchwood when possible. Recently this has seen them earn a national award by working with local college students to showcase their artwork as well as hosting a Young Enterprise marketplace.

“If we are making money from the local community, then it is imperative that we get involved with that community and ensure we are doing our bit to give back as well,” Tony adds.

“As such we work with local schools, colleges, charities, and businesses as an active participant in Solihull life. Since taking on this role, I have been appointed Vice President of the Solihull Chamber of Commerce and also Deputy Chair of the Solihull BID. By working with the BID, the Chamber, and other local stakeholders there is a far better chance of delivering sustainable success for Solihull and Touchwood.”

The enthusiasm and approach of Touchwood is refreshing and it’s clear they are looking towards partnering up with their tenants and the local community for mutual benefit. While they continue with this approach, will see further success ahead, and there are definitely lessons here to be learned for other shopping centres and high street retailers.


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthMay 13, 2019
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4min873

Wolverhampton is the seemingly unlikely “testbed” for a new physical store from eBay, which aims to reinvent the high street.

The new concept store recently opened its doors to customers as part of a scheme that seeks to merge online and brick and mortar platforms. The ‘Retail Revival’ initiative was launched last year after research revealed 25 percent of small retailers do not have an online presence.

The new venture involves 40 local businesses in Wolverhampton selling their goods in the pop-up store, located in the city’s Railway Drive.

Vice-President of eBay in the UK, Rob Hattrell, said at the store’s recent opening: “The small retailers taking part in Wolverhampton’s Retail Revival have already shown that physical and online retail can survive – and thrive – together.

“They have achieved more than £2 million in sales as of March and many have employed more staff as a direct result of the partnership. This pop-up store aims to take that growth, and the value of this programme, to the next level.

“It will explore how stores of the future could combine technology with that vital human connection to powerful effect – whatever the size of the business.”

Retail Revival participants have already made £2 million in sales, and benefit from training and support covering eBay selling basics, as well as digital skills.

An admirer of the scheme is David Nicholls, Retail and Hospitality CTO at Fujitsu, who said: “This latest move from eBay to open a concept store is a great testbed for it to see how the physical world can come together with the digital word to build bigger more connected market for small local retailers. The first phase of creating this cohesive experience began last year and set out to help local physical retailers build a digital presence and help them to better tap into their local market and increase their profile with the wider customer base online as Ebay found that 25 percent of small traders don’t have a web presence.


Daniel TodaroDaniel TodaroApril 9, 2019
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7min1027

Retail is buoyant, exciting, and transformative, so what better sector to be in right now?

This was the counterintuitive conclusion of a recent white paper produced by Retail Week in partnership with Manhattan Associates. Based on in-depth interviews with 25 senior retail executives, it showed that despite current obstacles affecting retail, 64 percent expected sales in 2019 to be flat or slightly better than last year. Twenty percent even estimated that sales will be much better than the past year.

Coupled with this, when questioned about the balance they are seeking between cutting costs and driving growth in order to achieve profitability, more than 50 percent cited ‘mostly growth’, indicative of a sector confident in its ability to progress. With 80 percent of shopping still happening on the high street  (ONS December 2018) not over the internet, now’s the time for retailers – especially brick and mortar – to define their future.

There’s been so much conversation about what’s driving retail strategy; innovation in technology driving back and front of store; data driven omnichannel insights providing a single view of the customer; experience rather than transactional stores. But if 80 percent of shopping still happens on the high street, there’s one area that’s being left behind and that’s the ‘people’ strategy to improve customer centricity and drive sales. 

Let’s face it, it’s the one part of retail that often seems the weak link. If you are over 40 you may remember the days of ‘are you being served?’. Although somewhat exaggerated it was a real indicator of retail customer centricity – personal, caring, and over the top.

According to the survey, investment in customer service and experience is top alongside ecommerce strategy as a priority for execs in 2019. It is the only differentiator a business has to entice customers into their store environment if they don’t want to buy online and the product is widely available.

Businesses that started online, such as Misguided, are appearing on the high street and brick and mortar retailers are realising the unique benefits of their physical space and making plans to optimise it accordingly – whether that’s a lifestyle destination or concept store. Over the last decade, staff have been like a forgotten tribe: transient, paid the minimum wage, and left to roam the shop floor with little, if any product knowledge or customer training. 

But retailers seem to be going full circle in realising the importance of a ‘people-first strategy’. In brick and mortar retail, the team on the floor are the most important asset, they are the ‘brand ambassadors’, the ones face to face with customers who can deliver a personal experience, explain products, give specialist advice, encourage a sale, and give customers that warm, cuddly feeling. But if it’s so important, realising it is not enough – retailers need to invest in and execute a people-first strategy. 

So what does a people-first strategy entail? To start with, let’s ditch the word sales assistant – it has a very transactional connotation. Sixty-two percent of execs said one of their biggest challenges is finding the right people with the right skills, and if this doesn’t change, nor will retail.

We’re in new territory where sales assistants are the custodians of the customer’s brand experience and I think we’re getting somewhere here. If you search for sales assistants on job boards, many are being advertised as Customer Experience assistants. And whilst you may think this is a nuance, it’s a huge step forward in transforming the way people think about roles within retail and how retailers recruit.   

Face-to-face retail isn’t going anywhere; it’s just changing, mainly driven by the expense of being on the high street, rather than people just buying online. This is presenting a multitude of opportunities for retailers – store within a store, click and try/buy, personalisation, and home delivery. Retailers just need to make sure they can capitalise on those opportunities.

Retail must put people and pay before profit, training before transactions, and nurture talent before staff turnover. This way you’ll have a people first strategy that will entice customers to come and enjoy discovering what it is you have on offer – an experience online can’t replicate. This way, retailers may give themselves a fighting chance of remaining profitable.

  


Rees FlynnRees FlynnMarch 6, 2019
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9min843

Spring has certainly sprung in the UK and many high street retailers will be looking ahead to how they might refresh and renew their offering to entice customers.

The pressure remains high for bricks-and-mortar retailers as well as online brands following a challenging previous year of sales and increased competition. Over the festive period high street brands overall saw store sales drop by 1.9 percent in December for the sixth year running and there was a surprise profit warning from ecommerce leader Asos.

With consumer confidence at its lowest in five yearsnothing is certain for retailers in 2019.

The high street is at a turning point and stores must adapt to reflect shoppers’ changing tastes and habits in the digital age. Offline and online shopping have their unique challenges, yet incorporating cutting-edge WiFi connectivity and analytics in-store is a simple, powerful, and cost-effective way for retailers to maximise the benefits of both channels.

WiFi connectivity enables retailers to revitalise their store by taking it online and delivering the ultimate best-of-both shopping experience which adds personalised value for today’s consumers.

A straightforward shopping experience

It is time to spring clean the in-store experience for customers who prefer simplicity and effortlessness over busy department stores. With no time to waste, busy shoppers will appreciate in-store WiFi to quickly browse the retailer’s online site for more product information or perhaps order a product which is out of stock in-store.

Connectivity is also important for customers to access order details if they have chosen a click-and-collect service, whilst WiFi supported messaging services allow shoppers to quickly communicate and get opinions from friends and family. Spring means new product launches and promotions and it can be a challenge for retailers to drive sales. Therefore, to attract modern time-pressed customers, the physical shopping experience has to be quick and effective.

Seventy-one percent of shoppers say they use mobile in-store, with 83 percent in the 18-44 age bracket, confirming that mobile is a key platform for engagement between retailers and customers and providing a robust connection will help drive customers into your shop. WiFi makes it easier for shoppers to log into mobile apps and consult the latest offers or perhaps the Wishlist they made at home.

Retailers should not forget that their ecommerce site works in tandem with their store and this is never more important given the current cross-channel competition. Maximising your WiFi means increased sales volume across digital and physical channels and increased customer engagement.

Shoppers increasingly prefer a self-service approach in retail and WiFi connectivity provides the ease and flexibility to browse from their smartphone. Simple digital tools such as in-store WiFi enabled tablets for self-service help customers to access whatever they might need whilst shopping and saves them time.

New consumer tastes deliver deals and discounts

Consumer confidence is struggling amidst economic uncertainty and retailers need to energise their services with something customers can trust, which is where providing value for money becomes critical.

We are a nation of increasingly savvy shoppers, scouting the best discount codes and promotions to lower the costs. For instance, while Barclaycard saw a 20 percent increase in the number of transactions over Black Friday from 2017, the amount spent dropped by 12 percent. Retailers can deliver competitive prices, which is especially important for today’s customers, and make promotions as accessible as possible by promoting their discounts as soon as customers walk in store via their WiFi’s fully-branded User Experience.

Greeting the user with the latest news and promotions once they log into the WiFi User Experience will increase the likelihood of sales and impulse buys, whilst also creating a more personalised experience. As one of the key consumer trends, personalisation helps to strengthen the brand-customer connection and drive customer loyalty.

Although retailers are struggling, the high streets are still crowded with options for shoppers, twice as many as need be according to one report, and retailers will want to ensure customers choose their store above others. Maintaining loyalty is critical for high customer retention and stores might consider loyalty programmes and incentives integrated directly via the WiFi or available on apps which can be accessed via in-store connectivity. The best loyalty programmes will use multiple methods to encourage users to shop with your brand again and again.

Get to know your customers in 2019

Seamless WiFi connectivity is a great incentive for customers, but it can also enhance your understanding of what customers want thanks to advanced WiFi analytics. The identity of the modern shopper is changing. Today’s consumers are heavily influenced by brand experience and stores which offer memorable experiences, whilst less disposable income means customers want well-priced, quality products. Any insights on how customers engage with your store will help brands to meet expectations.

WiFi analytics reveals data such as how many people enter your store, their average dwell time, which department sees highest footfall and the most popular marketing subscriptions, insights which can influence store layout and targeted promotions to better serve the customer. Data analysis can make a great difference for retailers and enable them to provide a more competitive service.

The way shoppers browse and spend is always changing according to the time of the year and continually analysing insights on how customers interact in-store will help retailers to improve the Customer Experience and how they relate to their customers straight away.

Shoppers’ brand expectations are increasing at a rapid pace, with cutting-edge WiFi high-street stores can not only deliver the mobile connectivity which customers demand but also have a detailed view as to what customers will want next and why.

In the current dog-eat-dog climate of the high street, where competition for increased footfall is rife, ignoring the potential benefits of digital connectivity could sound the death knell for many businesses commercially speaking which is why they need to act now to avoid being a casualty.


Santosh SahuSantosh SahuFebruary 28, 2019
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7min788

Changing shopping habits and ever-increasing consumer expectations have led to decreasing profits, a sharp decline in footfall, and numerous high-street store closures.

Meanwhile the internet retail giants, such as Amazon, have gone from strength-to-strength, increasing their market share and customer retention rates year-on-year. With high-street retailers left scrabbling to reimagine business processes in an effort to win back customers, on-demand delivery is rapidly emerging as the key strategic pillar for them to compete across an increasingly digital landscape.    

Innovation might win the battle

In an attempt to entice customers back to the high street, many retailers have made significant investments in innovative technology, from augmented reality in ‘smart mirrors’ – allowing customers to ‘try on’ and flip between different outfits – to virtual reality in ‘Holo-Rooms’ enabling customers to experience products before they buy. While these technologies go some way to evolving customers’ experiences with a brand, retailers might be putting the cart before the horse – these advancements do not necessarily address the real reasons consumers are no longer flocking to high street stores.

Today’s consumers are time-poor and are in need of retailers whose purchasing model suits their individual lifestyles. There’s too much choice and it’s too easy to walk away – it could be anything from that fact that the goods they are looking to buy seem a little too heavy to carry home or the payment form online is too complex. Technology is the key to retailers being able to provide a service tailored to modern-day consumers, but it must be applied with purpose and strategy if it is to have the impact retailers desire.

Convenience will win the war

Take Amazon, for example. Subject to ever-more public scrutiny following corporate tax scandals and questionable product selections, it’s not just a strong brand affinity that’s driving people to shop with them. In fact, the value of brand image is slowly being eroded throughout the digital age in which Customer Experience comes out on top. The truth is, brand loyalty is no longer as influential as it once was in purchasing decisions or customer retention.

As a result, consumers are switching from beloved household retail names to purchasing goods from internet giants. Through the right delivery models, these companies can power a level of immediacy and convenience for customers that other retailers have so far found difficult. Convenience is a commodity customers are willing to pay for – 40 percent of consumers are willing to pay premiums for same-day or instant delivery. And so, retailers should hone in on the services that consumers actually want.

Tremendous take-up of Amazon’s ‘one-click checkout’ service proves that convenience wins every time and has caused Amazon to roll-out Prime Now, in which products can be delivered as quickly as an hour after placing an order. Amazon’s business model has not only capitalised on consumer behaviour but created consumer expectations and now, rapid convenient delivery has become an expectation that all retailers have to contend with – the Amazon effect.

Naturally, technological advances can help brands offer new services. But a business’ strategy for customer retention, acquisition, and experience must be rooted in solving your consumer’s problems. It is this consumer-first approach, with technology facilitating the needs of consumers, that is key to the future success of the British retail industry.

A whole new world

It’s a difficult time for the high street retailer. It’s a whole new world out there and one in which Amazon is quickly swallowing up the high street. Earlier this month, the executive chairman of New Look said that retailers “have been defending instead of attacking”, but if they are to thrive in this new, uncertain world, high street stores need to take a proactive approach in making the impact of both their physical store offerings and online channels more powerful. On-demand delivery is the place to start.

Amazon, truly ‘gets’ what 2019 consumers need – and they need it now! Its business model has not only capitalised on a shift towards impulsive shopping behaviour, but driven it, and now the Amazon effect has made rapid convenient delivery the new normal. Failure to adapt will see the prophecy of a dying retail industry come true in 2019.




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