As the high street continues to see comparisons against the more positive momentum of online e-commerce retail, we look at how bricks and mortar stores could do more to increase their presence and what types of shoppers they need to tune into.

Whilst the internet has often been seen as a ‘problem’ to high street retailers, in reality it seems that the ‘problem’ has been that physical retail stores have not adopted multichannel ecommerce methods quickly enough. Years ago, online e-commerce retail shopping and high street shopping were seen as two entirely separate ways to shop, whereas these days businesses are being encouraged to integrate by using both methods of point-of-sale.

According to a recent article by Internet Retailing – How ecommerce can breathe new life into the UK high street

“Almost half of UK independent retailers still do not have a selling presence online. When it comes to the successful adoption of ecommerce, these retailers face three main challenges; time, cost, and know-how.”

The fact is that even having a basic internet presence for the smallest of high street retailer will be a bonus and allow them to build their presence outside of their retail premises.  Online e-commerce retail is open for business 24 / 7 and with the likes of off-the-shelf e-commerce brands such as SHOPIFY, WIX and Square Space which allow businesses to effortlessly build an independent online shop in return for a small monthly fee can really help to assist this without too much technicality and offer the ability to manage independently.

In addition to their online presence, retailers need to understand that there isn’t a single type of customer, neither is their one method of purchasing and so offering a single method to buy, won’t suit all.

People shop for very different reasons and embark on very varied shopping experiences according to the nature of their day and what they have planned in the future.  There are a number of reasons why we shop.  Browsing until something catches the eye, planning to buy something specific, buying for some-one else, product researching or bargain hunting are just some methods.

The time of day that customers shop is also important to recognise.  Day or night, there are many reasons why customers choose a particular time – on the way to work, on a lunch break or after work, because they have a particular appointment or event or if they are arranging to meet someone.  In addition they will also choose a particular retail brand for a number of reasons such as appealing to taste or based on price.

Do you use IT within your retail business to tailor a specific shopping experience or provide online e-commerce retail facilities to your customers?  Here at Crendon Insurance we protect retail companies with bespoke retail insurance which incorporates important aspects of cover such as online retail insurance, IT insurance, dropshipping insurance and cyber security insurance protection.  To find out more, please contact our online retail team or see our website for further information.

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