Retail essentials – research highlights what businesses need to succeed

Technology is leading the way when it comes to transforming the retail shopping experience, indicating that businesses need to invest to succeed.


It plays a major role in deciding where and how people shop, according to a new report from Westfield entitled ‘How We Shop Now’.


For instance, half of shoppers decided which shops to use based on the availability of a mobile signal or Wi-Fi connection, signifying that meeting these customer needs is essential for business success.


Furthermore, a third of those questioned under the age of 24 said a lack of signal had meant they had walked out of a shop in order to get one.


A loss of sales can have a significant impact on business finances, so meeting customer needs and demands is essential.


Keeping pace with modern trends


Retail is changing drastically in the modern world, with many respondents saying they prefer self-service tills and click & collect services.


A zero-tolerance approach to bad service was also highlighted, meaning companies wishing to secure a solid future need to ensure that they have the right staff for the job.


The report suggests that retailers who fail to deliver excellent customer service could be missing out on £5.4 billion of potential annual sales.


This is a considerable sum and would help many companies, especially those who are reporting cash flow issues and are therefore facing potential insolvency measures, to rescue the situation.


Promoting sales and marketing could potentially help in these types of situation, with social media an additional tool for attracting custom.


Making payments easier is also important, especially given that 63% of customers like self-service and more than 75% prefer touch-screen options.


Technology is guiding the new generation of shoppers and businesses would be wise to ensure they keep up with developments – especially if they want to be successful.


By Phil Smith


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