High Streets Initiative Fred Heritage · 8 August 2017
Digitally-enabled independent retailers witness sales upturn, both in-store and online
Traditional high street businesses, like independent florists and bakers, are experiencing a retail renaissance? using ecommerce to allow customers to browse and purchase online as well as in-store, new retail data has shown. Defying tough conditions for retailers on high streets up and down the UK, research from payment processor Worldpay has found that independent retail owners whove embraced online payments now experience yearly growth of up to eight per cent, whereas those that remain bricks and mortar only, and don’t invested in an ecommerce platform, have seen annual revenues shrink. Having benefited from an ecommerce sales boost, retailers who have embraced online payments have also seen in-store spending figures increase. Amongst digitally enabled? businesses, in-store sales grew by 2.06 per cent last year, while in-store sales in bricks and mortar only peer retailers fell by -0.09 per cent, on average. Amongst the independent retailers benefiting most from this dual-track approach are florists and bakers. Independent floristry business owners whove offered customers a mix of online and in-store spendingoptions have grown 8.34 per cent in the last year on average, while bricks and mortar only florists have experienced an average fall of just over 0.4 per cent. Meanwhile, independent bakeries and cake shops, that make it easy for customers to order online via an ecommerce platform, have grown by 8.7 per cent on average in a year, whereas those which havent have not seen any growth. Commenting on the data, Worldpay’s chief UK marketing officer, James Frost, said: Far from killing off traditional high street businesses, easy access to technologies like ecommerce is helping small business owners to reinvent their relationship with customers by being more flexible to their needs. our data shows that real loyalty stems from giving customers a choice. Shoppers still love heading to the high street, but it is not always practical, possible or convenient to do so.
ABOUT THE EXPERTFred Heritage
Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.