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Despite the press’s constant scaremongering, Amy Jackson’s presentation reminds us that it’s really not as bad for the high street as we might think. Retailers are sitting on a huge, untapped resource that they can take advantage of.
Offline retail remains the single largest private-sector employer in the UK, with annual sales exceeding £350bn. 31% of global GDP comes from retail, and an incredible 40 petabytes of data is being processed every hour. Unfortunately, most of that data remains untouched.
Whilst e-commerce thrives, it’s become essential that the high street adapts to make use of the mountains of data at its disposal. Consumers don’t make a binary choice to shop online or offline; their choices are much more nuanced than this. So what is it that they want?
Consumers want brands that can offer them a seamless experience across different channels. They want more interaction – both face-to-face and through chatbots – that has an increased focus on transparency, reviews and user-generated content. They want excellent customer service, with an awareness of what’s actually in stock both online and offline, and relevant advertising throughout their customer journey.
For inspiration, take a look at brands like Glossier, M&S Food, and Gymshark. Each one leads by experience in their own way. Whether that’s taking your online model and applying that to your offline stores (like Glossier), placing technology and experience at the heart of your company culture (like M&S Food), or understanding just what makes your audience tick (like Gymshark), there are 3 simple things to remember.
- Know your customer
- Use technology to your advantage
- Break the silos – it’s all about the experience.