High street retailers face nothing but a slow decline? That may be too simplistic, but retail success will mean marketing excellence.
It is too simplistic to say that High street retailers face nothing but a slow decline, according to CIM’s Catalyst magazine, Q1 2019. Despite the headlines, online shopping accounts for only 20% of all retail sales. Surveys show most people prefer to buy clothing, electronics goods and footwear in store.
Online retailers know that many consumers still need to see, feel and touch products before buying. The physical shop is a showroom for goods. It is often not the place of purchase but it is still important as part of the whole experience. But the experience in store must be exciting and this is where marketing excellence comes in. We must surprise and delight the customer every day with efficient technology, marketing excellence and personal, bespoke service.
The future winners in retail will be those brands who are bold and smart and can change fast enough to meet customers’ expectations across every channel and touch point. John Lewis, for example, is investing in personal experience. It has in-store clothing stylists to advise and help customers get the best from its vast and varied clothing ranges. We all buy from Amazon but it is a very functional process, it’s not enhancing our leisure time. Is that why Amazon has opened its Amazon Go, physical stores? Here customers can select goods and walk out without queuing at a till or using self-service technology. That’s a pleasing experience some consumers will value. Traditional high street retailers need to think of innovations like this that surprise and delight customers, really enhancing their experience, helping them navigate choices and making transactions quick and simple. Great marketing thinking is the key to all this.