Fifteen years ago, shopping on the high street was a weekly staple for many Brits. But today, its popularity seems to be waning - and it’s largely down to the rise of online stores. At just the click of the button, we can order goods to our home – shopping has never been so simple! Does this mean that retail is doomed? Or could it make a comeback?
Let’s explore the possible future of shopping…
Shifts in spending
Internet stores have enjoyed a huge rise in customers over the past few years – but just how many of us are shopping online? Research reveals that us Brits are spending one in every five pounds online. What’s more, internet shopping is particularly high during the festive period, a time of year that traditionally benefits the high street. As e-commerce continues to flourish, it’s likely that we’ll see an increased growth of Brits shopping online in the near future.
Why are buyers heading online?
It’s simple. Very often, it’s cheaper to shop online than in-store. Sites like eBay, for example, are famed for stocking a range of high-quality goods at low prices – so, it’s unsurprising that it boasts a large number of clients. Online shoppers are also usually entitled to perks, such as free home delivery and discounts, giving them even more of an incentive to stay at home and buy.
Internet shopping tends to provide a good alternative for people wanting to save money. Limiting how often you visit the high street is just one of many options for increasing your essential spending fund.
Are retailers in trouble?
Most experts argue that the high street is being rocked by a long-term shift in spending habits. So, it’s more vital than ever that retailers draw on the strengths of their industry. Obviously, the main difference between online and in-store shopping is that the latter is more interactive. With this in mind, retail brands could benefit from introducing face-to-face perks to customers. Cosmetics companies, for example, could offer bespoke beauty consultations to clients that visit their stores. Likewise, if supermarkets gave out free samples and tasting sessions, they may attract more customers.
Experts say that the high street is being rocked by a long-term shift in spending habits; so, it’s now more vital than ever that the industry draws on its strengths.
How retail benefits from the internet
Shifts in shopping trends are affecting how many people visit stores – but that doesn’t mean that retail can’t benefit from the internet. Actually, online customer engagement through social media can really boost the number of customers that visit a store. Across the UK, specific retail branches are posting images of products, special offers and client treats online, to encourage followers to go in-store. If it’s used effectively, the internet can be a source of growth for retail businesses.
Where people choose to shop is entirely based on their needs and preferences – and a lot of the time, the internet is the easiest place to do it. As we’ve explored, that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the high street. So long as retailers remain savvy in a changing world, they stand to expand their business further.