Bricks and Clicks

It has undoubtedly been a tough few years for the high street with many shops closing and the loss of many big-name brands. However, it is possible to breathe life into bricks and mortar retail stores with e-commerce.

Bricks and Clicks

The internet is often blamed for the demise of the high street, as more and more shoppers order goods from the comfort of their homes and spend less time in bricks and mortar stores. However, this simple argument demonstrates a lack of understanding of how digital works in the retail environment.

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The future is bright for Omni-channel retailers

As we begin a new decade, retailers simply cannot afford to stand still – to survive they must deliver the experience that customers demand if they are going to have a successful future.

It goes without saying that 2019 was not a good year for all high street retailers. While challenging retail conditions and high business rates have played their part, there is no denying that shopping habits have changed and many retailers have simply not kept up.

One of the biggest areas of change for retail has been the usage of bricks and mortar stores. In the past, most retail stores measured success through sales made from in-person transactions. As a result, price became the key driver for retailers to attract customers and this has led to a growth in big sale events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. However, while these events may have delivered some short-term gains, for many it also signalled the start of the race to the bottom. With some retailers focusing on offering products as cheaply as possible, the long-term health of many businesses was severely jeopardised. Research has also shown that sale events have even been seen to devalue products and brands in the minds of consumers, the knock-on effect of this is that consumers become less likely to shop during non-discounted periods.

To break this cycle, retailers need to look at how they can improve the customer experience. Indeed, research clearly shows that if retailers are to survive over the next 10 years then they will need to focus on customer experience. With customers shifting their shopping habits and buying more and more products online, retailers need to ensure their customer experience matches these habits.

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2020 Vision

Despite the alarming headlines on the demise of the British high street, online sales still only account for 17% of total retail sales in the UK, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Retail does remain the single largest private sector employer in the UK, with one in 10 people working in retail and annual sales totalling a staggering £358 billion.

But between the uncertainty brought about by Brexit not to mention declining footfall and sales, many are wondering how the retail industry will perform in the coming year.

We don’t have a crystal ball that can tell us exactly what the future holds for retailers, but here are some retail trends which independent stores should prepare for in 2020.

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Stay ahead of the competition

In this article we look at why you should never underestimate your competition and the importance of investing in your EPoS hardware and equipment.

As a retailer, you know the importance of having a unique selling point to encourage customers to choose to spend with you as opposed to the competition and that to be successful you have to try to stay at least one step ahead of the competition. Even if you feel that your business offering is unique, you must not assume that you have no competition as it doesn’t always come from direct or obvious competitors. Therefore, it is vital that the experience you create for the customer is consistently good by ensuring seamless transactions and service so that customers choose you over your competition.

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