The British high street has seen many casualties recently: HMV, Jessops, Comet and Blockbuster have all gone into administration this year. Some believe that the death of these stores is due to a combination of failing to compete with online stores such as Amazon and eBay, along with failing to innovate and keep up with the growing demands of customers’ needs online.
How Our Shopping Habits have Changed
The way that shoppers research and buy has changed drastically in the last few years. According to Powa Technologies who implement online and mobile platforms for many high street stores, Internet shopping is now more popular in the UK than any other country in the world, with UK spending an average of £1,083 a year on shopping online.
As customers, we spend huge amounts of time researching products and services online and are ultra cautious. We want to get a good deal but we want a superior product and level of service too. All the more reason why case studies, reviews and testimonials are critical to have on your website because they all help to positively influence the final purchase decision. A good website copywriter can help with providing the content for these.
The actual ownership of content has changed radically too. For many of us, we no longer want to buy an entire album or want to own a DVD; we’d rather download just what we want and add it straight into our digital libraries.
What Can Be Done?
It’s not all doom and gloom for the high street. There are plenty of stores who are making things work and there seems to be two key reasons:
- There needs to be a truly integrated approach between online and offline strategy. Branding, level of service and customer experience needs to be seamless between the two.
- Be bold and keep abreast of technological and innovative developments. Customers will no longer tolerate waiting in a queue; they want to be able to click online and collect or to locate the products in store before arrival.
Customers are using tablets and mobile phones more than ever to research and shop online and this trend looks set to continue. It is essential that your company has a mobile online strategy and to look at the range of services that can be used to target customers within this.
For example, build a shopping list online or on a mobile device, get targeted offers and news updates relating to the company sent to mobiles. Speak with your web design agency to find out more about how they can help you with a mobile strategy.
All of us can learn lessons from the casualties on the high street. We need to constantly evaluate our businesses, adapt and innovate to survive.