Shoppers have shunned the UK high street during summer sale season due to higher inflation rates and stagnating wages according to the latest figures from the British Retail Consortium and Springboard.
Overall shopper footfall was down 1.1% in July, with the high street recording a 2.1% drop. On the contrary, retail parks recorded a 1.7% uplift in numbers.
This data shows the growing importance of marketing a leisure based trip as opposed to a call to action to simply ‘shop’ at retail destinations.
High streets are in a prime position to offer an all-encompassing journey offering retail, food and services to encourage shoppers to make the journey. For this to be effective Place Managers must convey this online as well as in traditional marketing efforts to compete with retail parks and shopping centres.
Gill Holloway, Sales Director of Insight UK said:
“In recent years, the relationship between retailer and customer has changed irrevocably. Online natives have been born into a world where they’re able to know exactly who their audience is, how they behave on their website and how they browse between competitors. This means those retailers who can create multi-channel experiences by seamlessly linking online and offline will be best positioned to capitalise on the new, digitally driven path to purchase.”
Retailers will need to provide a flawless user experience both online and offline to appeal to today’s connected customer; personalising their experience and offering the same exceptional service online as they do in brick-and-mortar stores.
There is currently a growing gap between the technology used by the consumer versus high street businesses which Place Managers and retailers need to address if the high street is to survive. Whilst it’s clear this isn’t going to happen overnight, businesses can take positive steps towards a digital future.
The #WDYT campaign helps equip towns, cities and retailers with the tools, advice and data they need to reach, attract and engage with their increasingly digital savvy visitors and customers.