High Street Sales Continue to Dwindle - But is it all Doom and Gloom for Retail?

26/04/2017

Recent figures are showing that more and more people are turning to digital shopping over the high street, with some 2 billion people set to be digital shoppers by 2019.

James Lowther James Lowther Media Assistant Manchester Retail Footfall high street
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As of March 2017, high street sales have continued to drop for the fourth consecutive month. An online boom is causing digital sales to have jumped up 16% in 2016, but the effect on the high street is drastic – with this same period causing retailers to shut down at a rate of 5 per day.[1]

With so many options for digital shoppers in 2017 – from Instagram’s ‘Shop Your Feed’ feature to the slew of YouTuber brand promotions, it’s easier than ever to shop with the press of a finger, without the hassle of a trip to the shops. The ‘convenience’ factor is an important one, and it isn’t being helped by the struggling economy. “Retail sales in the UK have contracted quarter-on-quarter for the first time in more than three years,” says Gavin Fletcher of the Financial Times in a recent article, “as prices rise at their fastest pace since 2012 in response to the weakness of the pound.”[2]

But stores are doing their best to fight back by offering in-store only discounts and utilising an omni-channel approach. Facebook and Google are paving the way for shopping experiences to cross the boundaries from digital to in-store sales with Facebook’s ‘Local Awareness’ campaigns suggesting nearby stores based on a customer’s location and Google displaying local business’s information from a simple search. And it’s easier than ever for the stores to capitalise on this with mobile advertising tailoring campaigns to drive people into stores, and then tracking the in-store conversions right from the mobile’s location.

 

[1] Canvas8, ‘UK High Street Sales in a Four Month Slump’, April 18 2017

[2] Gavin Jackson; Financial Times; 21st April 2017 (https://www.ft.com/content/60f371b2-266e-11e7-a34a-538b4cb30025)

James Lowther James Lowther Media Assistant Manchester Retail Footfall high street
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