A new study from Savoo has found that over one in five Brits don’t see the high street as important because most or all of their shopping is online.
It is evident that over the last 18 months spending habits have changed and the digital world has taken over. Consumers have become comfortable with the convenience of online shopping meaning the high street could continue to suffer even as people get more comfortable venturing outside of their homes.
The decline of the high street
The retail sector makes up just 34% of the UK high street with housing and office spacing taking up the most room. Over a three-year period East Northamptonshire, A location most heavily affected by retail closure experienced a 35% loss of retail stores on the high street.
For many towns and cities, retail space has been on the decline for years with the rise of online shopping and e-commerce. The recent global pandemic has no doubt accelerated our changing shopping habits, in fact, the number of shoppers visiting the high street once a week has declined by 16% on average since the pandemic.
Consumers want deals
Shopping is a complete experience for customers and is the reason why many of us continue to visit the high street even though there are alternative methods that can be argued to be more convenient. When buying something, the top factor for UK shoppers is finding a great deal, according to 49% of respondents.
“What we are already seeing is that retail is becoming more of a showroom for experience rather than transaction. What we are trying to do now is draw people back into the high street with a heightened and optimised retail experience, which isn’t just around buying stuff but brand experience.
In terms of technology being used, we are starting to see concept stores being opened up all over the place – total reversals of focus rather than flagships stores focusing on transactions they are looking at virtual try-ons, in-store augmented reality that can bring products and assets in-store to life”.
– Cameron Worth, founder, Sharp End