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Could the Technological revolution be the High Street’s Demise?

“The traditional business model is now broken”: What the online retail boom has meant for British shoppers and retailers.

Shopping is our national pastime. However, recent figures show that retail is in the midst of a massive transformation. With “one in every five pounds we spend” online, more stores than ever before are closing shop. Despite the last-minute spending in the run up to Christmas, the 2018 Christmas period saw a decline in the number of shopper visits to high streets and shopping centres around the country.

BDO Accountants report that despite stores slashing prices in the final week, high street sales fell by 1.9% last month with 2018 being the sixth consecutive year of falling sales during the crucial festive trading season. Fashion sales fell by 2%, following a 3.8% drop in December 2017. Homewares sparkled, growing by 9.3%. But while brick and mortar stores saw a decline in their takings, non-brick and mortar sales – including online sales - rose by 11.9%.

"Death of High Street", Click on picture below:

With the convenience that online shopping offers – especially in the colder winter season – more people are foregoing spending their money in physical stores in favour of virtual clothes racks, toy stores and online delivery through their smartphones and laptops.

BDO’s head of retail Sophie Michael commented as follows: “it is clear that consumer confidence is low. Shoppers have exercised extreme caution or shopped strategically online.”

So how can businesses survive in the age of the online shopper and the ongoing retail revolution? Well through a retail reinvention according to industry experts. Corey Tollefson, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Retail Info, urges businesses new and old to prioritise adopting digital innovation as part of their strategies in order to survive the era of new media. He argues that small businesses in particular “often stand to gain the greatest potential from digital transformation [by utilising] CRM software, ecommerce websites and marketing automation.”

Despite the fact that thousands of British shops are closing each year – with 1,200 shutting in just the first half of 2018 – the digital age could prove to be a time of immense growth and opportunity for SMEs. By optimising their online content to fit the individual customer’s needs and engaging with them through personalised social media advertising, all businesses including brick and mortar businesses can adopt new ways of attracting real presence in a virtual world.

Read on to find out how some retailers have crumbled under the pressure and how others can adapt to use the technological advances to their benefit.

What went wrong on the High Street in 2018?

What Small Business Need to do to Win in Online Retail

Having successfully worked with several online companies, Pure Business Law can advise you on the best way to ensure that your business, whether emerging or established, can weather the ever-evolving technological revolution.

Call us today on 01234 938057 for a free consultation.

Patricia Chidavarume is an English Language and Literature graduate who is currently working as a Business Admin and Marketing Intern at Pure Business Law. She has greatly enjoyed the extensive and varied marketing experience which she has gained during her internship. In her spare time, Patricia enjoys traveling, reading and learning foreign languages.

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