A retail awakening for tech-savvy independent stores

Traditional independent stores such as florists and bakers are experiencing a retail awakening by embracing new technology to offer customers flexibility in the way they shop.

According to new data from WorldPay, small and independent stores are seeing year on year growth of up to 8% by allowing customers to browse and purchase online as well as in-store.

However, the growth is not purely coming from e-commerce sales, these tech-savvy businesses have also seen in-store sales increase by over 2%; far faster than their brick-and-mortar only counterparts.

James Frost, UK CMO, Worldpay, said: 

“Far from killing off traditional high-street businesses, easy access to technologies like ecommerce is helping small business owners to reinvent their relationship with customers by being more flexible to their needs.

“UK shoppers still love heading to the high street, but it is not always practical, possible or convenient to do so. It’s fantastic when a regular customer pops in to see you for some advice, but our data shows that real loyalty stems from giving customers a choice.”

To survive on the high-street small businesses must embrace digital to fit in with their customer’s lifestyle and offer the choice of shopping online and offline – ensuring the customer journey is seamless.

Polly Barnfield, CEO of Maybe* said:

“Deloitte says that by 2020 80 per cent of retail will still happen offline. Amazon is buying physical stores,” said Ms Barnfield, implying that says it all about the future of retail – it will be a combination of a good e-commerce platform with good products, an actual shop and enough social media noise to bring people to the door.

“However, 46 per cent of these transactions will begin online.”

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