Perfect storm is brewing that could return Retail trading to our High Streets..
As retail-nerd-turned-business-trading-strategist, I now work internationally across several industries and therefore get to see a lot of emerging trends and technologies.
I love this! It keeps me vital and always learning.
My inner 'retail nerd' loves watching how rapidly the consumer is changing.
I am also hugely interested in all the newly emerging retail models and retail innovation.
However, it is the consumer that is going to lead how retail will evolve across the next decade. And whilst technology is an enabler ... It isn't all about tech.
My belief is that we are heading towards a real revival in the High Street and local shopping.
Don't get me wrong - The High Street will need to be ready. Poor or lazy retailing just won’t cut it. However, a perfect storm is brewing that could likely signal a return to local and High Street shopping in the coming years.
There are several factors at play here...
1. Good Independents are often more Agile.
That often means more entrepreneurial also. You don't have as many levels of bureaucracy when you're an Independent. Decisions can be made faster. Direction can be changed quickly if that's needed.
2. Smaller business is more connected to the Customer.
I mean really connected. On a human - physical level. Whilst big retail may have all the shnazzy tech gear - (swish CRM systems, beacon technology, digital way finders etc). The fact of the matter is that Smaller retail often know their customers far more intimately. And this is because they spend a lot of time with their customers. That connection usually dilutes as a business scales. Experience and how customers feel will become increasingly important currency. As an Independent, it's easier for you to move on this trend because you know exactly who you're dealing with, and what they want and like.
3. Marketing has had its revolution already.
The Independents have never had it so good regarding the ability to market for themselves. We all have amazing marketing tools in our hands. Our phones! Social commerce is on the rise. It's said that 60% of people are influenced by digital content when shopping. I read recently that 55% of people have bought product after discovering it on social media. I know I have! Add to this - that for smaller business - there's often a more human story. An easier identity to identify with! This means that every customer is also a potential champion for your business. A distinct advantage for any Independents that use it effectively!
4. Commuter Culture is on its way out.
This is partly generational. Our kids genuinely don't see the value in 90 minutes spent unproductively, driving to work in a daily grind. Driving a car will also become more expensive in the coming years. Sure - it seems that only fifteen minutes ago - diesel cars ruled. Now they're the devil. Look at how quickly that happened. We are on the verge of huge change.
5. Did I mention that Commuter Culture is on its way out?
This is also about the environment and carbon emissions. The coming years will see a rise in corporate and personal responsibility being assigned in this area. We may even see future taxation based on carbon footprints. Let's not pretend it's either unnecessary or that it's not on its way. And Big Business will likely feel that pain first. Which will lead to rapid changes in behaviour. I predict a future with corporate commuter hubs in larger conurbations, rather than the Cities being 'King' so to speak.
So, there you have it. Lots of reasons why people will want to work and shop locally. The real question is - Will the High Street be ready?
If you'd like to chat further. Or would appreciate support with your 2020 Trading Strategy - Let's talk!
Contact me: Miriam@pto.ie