As online retail continues to prosper in the face dwindling high street footfall, a fresh and innovative approach is what lies at the heart of a bricks and mortar resurgence, says market analyst Dan Wagner.
According to figures from the UK’s online retail association - the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index - the online retail market saw a 13 per cent rise between August and September of this year, representing the highest growth for this period in the IMRG’s 13-year history.
During this time, UK high street footfall fell by 2.4 percent compared to the same period in 2012, according to figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC). The stats reveal that footfall on high streets dipped by five per cent from August; down 2.1 percent in shopping centres and 0.4 per cent in out-of-town retail parks.
With this in mind, Wagner, chief executive of e-commerce and mobile payment technology firm, Powa Technologies, believes that an innovative approach to high street retail is absolutely central the reversal its decline.
“These figures demonstrate that a fresher approach, like that taken in shopping centres and retail parks can slow the attrition, but a real paradigm shift is what’s needed to reverse the decline," he commented. "Shops must adopt new technologies and use innovative techniques to tempt reluctant consumers back through their doors. Learning from the success of the online retail trade and tailoring shopping to the individual preferences of the consumer, with customised recommendations, is one way to achieve this. ‘Click-and-collect’ initiatives between online retailers and stores is another; and conditions have never been more conducive for a mobile payment revolution to play its part too.”
He concluded: “There is now a massive opportunity for retailers to improve the customer experience and boost engagement in High Street stores. Retailers should use these worrying statistics as the spur to add a next-generation platform infrastructure to support tablets, mobile phones and enhanced personalisation in their premises. The number of ways that retailers can engage with their customers is increasing and mobile payment is playing a big part in this. It is one of the main ways shopping is changing for the better. Making payment more convenient and taking the transaction to the customer, wherever they are, really improves customer engagement and boosts sales. There is already a huge change underway on the high street, but much more needs to be done to bring shopping into the modern era.”