This morning, we were musing over our coffee discussing the latest LINK results for the August Bank Holiday and the fact that the UK flocked to ATMs and withdrew a staggering £269m on one day…now that’s a lot of ice creams!!
And this led us to discussing about how we shop in the UK. Technology is one of the biggest influences for us as a nation, on every level. Let’s face it, we are just a couple of years away from the latest smartphone running your home, and even cooking your evening meal, but the biggest influence the mobile phone has driven is how we shop. Recent stats from Capgemini advise that m-commerce grew by 42% in 2015 and over 45% of sales were made via a mobile device…how’s that for agile shopping!
Online shopping has seen expediential growth over the last few years and 2015 saw an average increase of 11% in retail sales, but whilst online shopping has seen healthy growth, does this mean we as a nation are abandoning the high street for the comfort of our armchairs? You know what – it would seem so! The IMRG Capgemini eRetail Sales Index is suggesting a further growth in 2016 of 11% for online retail sales, equating to £126bn, that’s a huge amount for the high street retail stores to recapture.
To encourage us to remain faithful to the high street experience, businesses are now offering additional services to keep you coming back, and this is encouraging for us, the shopper. Retail businesses are fully aware of what they need to do to bring customers back to the high street and there have been some great innovative ideas to bring us back…including DJ’s in store (for the younger shoppers), food stands, juice bars and far more importantly, attentive customer service. We’ve noticed that when we now visit a store, we’re approached by a member of the floor team to ask if there’s anything they can do to help…all of this will contribute to enhancing the customer experience.
We as a nation will continue to adapt to new technologies, and we should. But as a nation, we also draw comfort in things we know, from a good café with an amazing ice cream bar, to the local convenience store that knows you personally, says good morning and asks about how you’re doing…and of course has a YourCash ATM!