The future of retail – guest blog by @WebLoyalty #retail

This is a guest post by Webloyalty about recent research into the future of retailing, it makes for very interesting reading…
New research, commissioned from Conlumino by eCommerce partner Webloyalty, into the future of retail reveals the full impact of the recession to UK retailers, showing that the economic crisis has cost the retail sector a staggering £23bn in terms of lost growth since 2008.

The study also shows that UK consumers are increasingly using mobile and social media channels to interact with retailers, which in part will result in an estimated 31% of high street stores closing by 2020.

Retail spending over the next decade

The research reveals that retail is set to lose out further over the next decade as the proportion of discretionary income spent on the sector is expected to decline. Although overall household income will start to rise as the downturn eases, the proportion of disposable income will not recover to pre-recession levels. Moreover, retail’s share of discretionary income, which today stands at 32%, will decline to 27% by 2022.

The pressure on some areas is more pronounced. Music, film and book retailers will continue to struggle with spend expected to fall further with the move to digital media and subscription services. However spending on health and beauty, and clothing and footwear is expected to rise by nearly 20%, as they are more needs-based, and because the products are a way for consumers to treat themselves at relatively low expense.

Commenting on the findings, Guy Chiswick, Managing Director of Webloyalty UK, said: “Securing new customers can be difficult in tough economic times, so it is vital that retailers hold on to the customers they already have. Customer insight needs to be used intelligently to meet the needs of individuals and to drive loyalty and satisfaction.”

The rise of the online shopper

Webloyalty’s research reveals that the growing influence of online channels is affecting the way we shop, with 85% of UK consumers aged 18 and over now regularly shopping on the internet. This change is affecting town centres, where 31% of high street stores are expected to close by 2020.

With the growing popularity of online and mobile shopping, social media is also increasingly being used for price comparison, browsing and purchasing. We are seeing the rise of the “social shopper” with 69% of consumers now members of social media websites and half of these interacting with retailers through social media. 

How shoppers are using social media

This Webloyalty research suggests that by 2020, mobile shopping will play a part in one quarter of all purchases, through either price checking or direct purchases.

Consumers will expect a more personal experience. The report predicts that retailers will tailor experiences more and more to customer needs, based on insight into their past behaviour.

Neil Saunders of Conlumino says: “Social media will have a widening impact on the entire retail environment, with its role in the online shopping process growing in importance as the amount of data available on social media platforms enables experiences to be tailored specifically to the user’s interests and tastes.”

To view and download the full Webloyalty research, please visit: Webloyalty – The Future of Retail: The Demand Picture or follow Webloyalty on Twitter for new and research – @WebloyaltyUK



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
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1 Response to The future of retail – guest blog by @WebLoyalty #retail

  1. webloyaltyuk says:

    Reblogged this on Webloyalty.

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