Reinvent… stay relevant
We live in a cyber age.
A very large proportion of the world’s population spend a lot of time online.
I know I am pretty guilty of it myself. If I am not checking up on friends and family on social media, I am streaming films and TV shows.
Or shopping. I love a bit of online shopping!
And so do a lot of folk.
Consumers like the convenience it offers. And the choice.
For the most part, too, shopping online delivers an emotive end-user experience.
Customer service management teams are usually only a click away if you hit a glitch, as well.
Yep, you can’t beat being able to sit in your favourite armchair and filling that internet shopping basket without having to leave the house, brave the elements or battle the traffic.
And that’s fantastic for consumers.
Not so great for the high street, though.
It is a little disheartening to walk through your local town and see nothing but a handful of charity shops and several empty, boarded-up buildings.
Times are changing
The problem is, it’s only going to get worse.
According to reports, over half of all UK sales will be online within the next ten years!
Which, of course, means tough times ahead for the retail industry, with more store closures looking very likely. And that also means things will be pretty dire for commercial landlords and communities.
Particularly older members of communities that still like to potter to their local shop to catch up on all the latest neighbourhood gossip!
It’s anticipated that the internet will account for 53% of retail sales by 2028.
At present, online shopping accounts for around a fifth of retail sales, so the jump is going to be pretty mega.
A lot of it is going to be down to younger people who have grown up with the internet as a normal part of everyday life.
Of course, a few years down the line, they are going to make up more than half of the UK’s adult population.
What’s more, one in ten people across all age groups said they planned to shop online more over the next 12 months, so it’s already picking up pace, and not just among younger generations.
The pace of change
As all business owners know, it’s important to change with the times if you want to stay ahead of the game.
Unfortunately, there are going to be some out there that just can’t keep pace.
Even some of the big guns, such as Debenhams, M&S and TopShop, have announced plans to close some high street stores over the year ahead.
And then there’s the likes of Bathstore that have gone into administration and closed their doors completely.
The digital revolution is really just getting started.
New technologies are popping up left, right and centre.
It’s predicted that personalised marketing will drive future online growth and delivery could even become automated because of artificial intelligence.
So, you’ve either got to keep up with the times, or get swept away.
It definitely doesn’t bode well for the high street.
Landlords are being asked to slash rents and the government are being urged to take action on business rates.
But, even then, it’s still going to be a period of painful readjustment for the retail industry. And those consumers who are still in favour of local shops.
Of course, a lack of convenient, physical stores will probably drive more people to shop online.
So, it’s all a bit chicken and egg, really.
Keeping up with the Jones’
Granted, having an online presence isn’t always plain sailing.
A lot of end-users, including almost a third of 16 to 24-year-olds, have taken action to limit the amount of data that they will share with online companies.
So, there’s still a little trepidation out there about the online user experience.
But that doesn’t mean you can afford to shy away from it.
Because if you do, you’ll end up being left behind.
To make sure you keep ticking over and are successful in these changing times, you need to make sure you understand your customers.
Because knowledge really is power.
If you know what motivates consumers and you understand their behaviour, you will be more likely to earn their loyalty.
And loyalty is power too. It can really help drive your company forward and increase success.
We all know it’s more profitable to retain customers than it is to find new ones.
If you want help at gaining insights, we can offer our assistance with our detailed end user experience monitoring.
But, however you go about it, you need to gain that knowledge.
And find out what your customers want and need, from both an in person and online perspective.
Then get out there and deliver.