What is the future of high street shopping? @Wagit #IndieRetail

89% of the UK population visit online retailers.
You’ve probably seen a load of statistics like this,  I seem to see them posted on Twitter on a daily basis. If the stats are true then every retailer in the country should have an eCommerce website to sell their products, and if you don’t then you’ll be left behind.

Ecommerce, Mobile Commerce – these are the growth areas for ANY size of retailer…

Mobile Commerce or mCommerce is growing even faster. The smart phone and tablet market is growing at an extremely fast rate. 5.3% of the total UK web traffic comes from non-computer devices. Now 5% doesn’t sound like much, but it’s very early days for this market.

So we’ve established that all retailers should trade online through multiple channels, now let’s talk about what will happen to the high street shops. What can the high street do to increase sales and not be completely overwhelmed by the web?

The coolest wall ever! Is this the future for experiential retailing?

I was fortunate enough to attend this years Screen Media Expo which was excellent and full of inspirational displays. One of the most exciting things I came across was at the Adidas and Intel stand. I caught sight of a virtual wall full of floating trainers, which I had to go and have a look at!

The spinning interactive adiVerse Virtual Footwear Wall I was viewing could put 8,000 shoes at a shoppers’ fingertips in a futuristic mash-up of eCommerce and high street retail.

Designed by UK based Start Creative and created by Intel in partnership with Adidas, the wall renders products in 3D and allows a shopper to spin and zoom in on the shoes and call up specs from a touch-screen display. Users can view intricate details and videos related to each product and even have shoes given to them by Lionel Messi…all virtually of course! Check out the video to see it in action.

adiVerse Cannes promotion from Start JudgeGill on Vimeo.

Or this is the link to the page: http://vimeo.com/25027735

So what are the advantages to Adidas in using this wall in their stores?

  • They can display 1000’s of products in a very small space on a flat wall
  • With less space required to display products, then smaller retail outlets can be used, which of course saves money on rental costs
  • With less space required for the showroom they can create more stock space and in turn stock a larger range which means more variety available in store
  • They can employ less staff saving them money on overheads
  • The use of celebrity endorsements to sell the products, virtually

What are the advantages for the customers?

  • More choice
  • Customer reviews give unbiassed opinions
  • No hassle from sales people!
  • Huge amounts of extra product information
  • Easy selecting and purchasing options
  • Can physically try on the tester shoes before you buy

The major disadvantage to this system is obviously the cost for implementing it. Most of us won’t have the budgets that Adidas have and I’m pretty sure this would have cost them a lot! Thankfully there are ways that retailers can achieve similar results on a much smaller budget:

Digital display/signage screens in store that even a single store Independent Retailer could afford!

This sounds like an expensive option, but it’s surprising how cost effective this can be. It’s ideal for:

  • Displaying daily special offers and all in-store marketing
  • Showing customer’s product reviews
  • Displaying tweets about the store or company
  • Promotional videos – Moving images are more likely to be viewed than static images

It’s worth noting that screens with an internet connection are much more productive as they allow for a creative agency to update the displays remotely. It’s also easy to have multiple screens work off of the same remote system.

Interactive display screens let a customer touch, move stuff about and push buttons on screen. This is a more expensive option but gives the user more freedom and is great for really engaging with the customer.

Use tablet PCs to display information in store

An alternative to buying display screens is to use a tablet device such as an iPad. This can act as an interactive display allowing users to read product reviews, and view in-store marketing. At Screen Media Expo I met Bouncepad who sell a really cool and easy to use iPad stand that is perfect for this job. This option is ideal for smaller shops who wouldn’t require many screens.

Use QR Codes linking to product information

QR codes used on displays enable smart phone users to scan the code and view web links to find out more information about the shop or it’s products. Special offers can be hidden on pages that can then be used in-store.

Display your full range of products via an eCommerce website

Displaying an eCommerce site in-store allows customers to view the entire product range as well as reviews and company background.

Now if you asked the question, What are the advantages to customers shopping online?

  • More choice
  • Customer reviews give unbiassed opinions
  • No hassle from sales people!
  • Huge amounts of extra product information and history
  • Easy selecting and purchasing options

Sound familiar?

To keep up with fast growing eCommerce and mCommerce sales figures, high street retailers must use the same techniques used online, in-stores.

This blog was written by Paul Wright, Creative Director. Rubber Cheese Ltd. Rubber Cheese is a full service creative agency who specialise in design and development for the retail sector – on-line, in store and on shelf (eCommerce, POS, branding) – to ensure there is a seamlessly integrated brand experience across all channels and touch points.

t: 0845 867 6750
e: info@rubbercheese.com
Rubber Cheese Limited, Unit N, The Maltings, Station Road, Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, CM21 9JX

 

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About Clare Bailey

Clare Bailey, The Retail Champion (formerly Clare Rayner), is one of the most well-known and respected retail experts in the UK. With unrivalled knowledge in retail, high streets and consumer matters, she offers unbiased, independent content – whether engaged as a professional speaker, for broadcast media, or for a written feature. Clare is a business woman, entrepreneur and founder of several small businesses. Having been born into a family of successful business owners, it was inevitable that she’d eventually jump off the corporate treadmill and step out on her own! Today her brand portfolio includes The Retail Champion, The Retail Conference, the Future High Street Summit and the Support for Independent Retail campaign. In addition, she is co-founder of Mobaro Retail UK and a non-exec director of Beed Virtual Assistant Services. Having started her career as a fast-track store management trainee for McDonalds, she went on to work with leading retailers such as M&S, Dixons and Argos. She moved swiftly into management roles before being headhunted into senior consulting roles with global software giant SAP, and international management consulting brand, Accenture. Her corporate background in senior retail, consulting and technology roles, coupled with her experience of creating and running her own business, has enabled her to be equally capable whether consulting to global brands or micro businesses. This unique blend has not only positioned her as a leading expert in all things retail, but has enabled her to add meaningful commentary and insight to the debate around the future of the high street, and, how technology is driving fundamental change in the way consumers, and businesses, interact. Clare has become an influential voice in her field, which has resulted in her becoming a regular media contributor and sought-after conference speaker. Often seen on Good Morning Britain, BBC Breakfast, Sky News, and Chanel 5 (to name a few), Clare speaks on a myriad of retail, high street and consumer issues – but is particular adept when it comes to explaining the context behind retail trading results, newly released data, and government stats, in a palatable and informative manner. In addition to broadcast and conference speaking, Clare is the proud author of two best-selling business books published by Kogan Page - The Retail Champion: 10 Steps to Retail Success, published July 2012 and How to Sell to Retail: The Secrets of Getting Your Product to Market, published February 2013. She has provided contributions to various academic texts, including Retail Marketing Management (published by Pearson). With an engaging, conversational yet informative style, Clare writes for press and content agencies, providing features, articles, blogs and opinion pieces as well as contributions to white papers and reports. However, when the situation demands a more serious style, Clare can deliver - In 2016 she wrote an extensive report for a major insurance and risk law firm, as a retail expert witness, to support a public liability suit. She found that project particularly enjoyable as it played well to her strengths – assimilating large amounts of data and information, identifying the key points and articulating that in an understandable manner. When not on TV or speaking at conferences, Clare’s “day job” sees her supporting consumer-facing businesses through her consultancy services. When asked to describe what she most loves about retail consulting it is typically the opportunity to “dig deep”, getting “under the bonnet”, in order to leverage the business data to uncover the insights that lead to “lightbulb moments”. She also loves working on business change programmes that centre on improving the processes and systems to increase profitability by supporting more rapid, better informed decision making, improving the customer experience, or simply by become more efficient and streamlined. In this respect she considers herself a “business engineer” with a brain that works like a relational database! Due to her years of experience, her logical, objective approach, her quick, rational thinking, she is known for being able to cut through complexity, seeing right through to the crux of issues, finding creative solutions that others may have overlooked. As if all that wasn’t enough, Clare is a working mum, juggling a home life in rural Lincolnshire with her partner, their 5 kids, 4 cats, and geriatric Labrador! For all enquiries, contact Clare directly on 01727 238890 or email champion@retailchampion.co.uk.
This entry was posted in Blog-a-day for Indie Retail, Increasing Sales, Independent Retailer Month 2011 and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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