We’ve all seen the high street sales figures and reports of hundreds of stores closing, with some retailers focusing on their ecommerce sites.
We’ve all seen the high street sales figures and reports of hundreds of stores closing, with some retailers focusing on their ecommerce sites. This isn’t just about the shift in consumer behaviour towards online shopping, it’s about the heightened expectation for a better experience and service. I’ve always had very little patience with poor levels of customer care and service. Why as a nation of customers and business owners we haven’t moved with the times, I don’t know.
With the shift to online, bricks-and-mortar retailers have had the opportunity to improve their customer experience and integrate their online offering, creating a 360-degree brand experience for their customers. An example of how this has been introduced seamlessly is John Lewis. If a product isn’t in stock, you are taken to a desk to view and purchase it online, and with their knowledgeable, efficient sales advisers, John Lewis continues to prove why it’s reporting impressive results.
The innovation in mobile commerce presents high street retailers with a huge opportunity to further integrate their offline and online channels. A number of leading retailers are now using QR codes to give customers the chance to find out more and the opportunity to purchase a product online.
The next 12 months is going to present an even more challenging economic environment. The savvier retailers will survive. The ones that put the customer first, creating an improved customer experience, while looking at their shopping habits and creating a seamless, integrated multichannel experience, will drive the market forward. As retailers, we have the opportunity to shape and change the way consumers shop and that makes it an exciting place to be.
- Sarah Curran is founder and chief executive of premium etailer My-Wardrobe.com