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Retailers, grow your footfall. Harnessing multi-channel activity, will increase understanding of customers and will improve conversion rates and profitability.

Whilst a challenging times for retailers, and with so much focus from the last couple of years on exploring the future of high streets, many reports paint a dull picture of the future.

 

High street stores as we know them, will evolve, as the future between the virtual and physical world become blurred, but it is also the case that new technologies, when harnessed within multi-channel strategies, offer retailers fantastic opportunities.

 

Online buying behaviour suggests that although purchases may not be completed in store, consumers are heavily influenced, and retailers using multichannel marketing are bringing more people into their shops – those embracing it are benefiting, as they enhance the physical experience.

 

A report recently commissioned by Experian suggests that “if retailers can harness multi-channel activity, they will increase their understanding of their customers and will improve conversion rates and profitability.” (The changing face of UK retail in today’s multi-channel world)

 

Hollister Store Front. Image courtesy of World Wide Wig

 

 

In the 2011 Mary Portas review, she says we should look to malls as an example, they “understand how to curate a space and ensure that there is a balance of retailers so that the consumer has a vibrant and diverse shopping experience. Their marketing is sophisticated, focusing more on experiential and uplifting messages rather than the practical and the functional. They know what to do in the event of a vacant shop, disguising it with visual merchandising or offering a pop-up experience.”

 

Though the review speaks about a cluster of shops, the same theory applies individually. The future of high streets are not lost, but they are changing.

 

High streets are becoming more experiential, a place to evoke and be immersed in the brand. Individually, if retailers can really engage with people, they can encourage further footfall into their retail arena & focus on enhancing the the customer’s experience.

 

Whether they buy then and there, or that drives a future sale online, retailers need to embrace the changing function of their stores, and design the touchpoints they have with consumers.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on March 12th, 2012

About Dave Hayhurst

Dave is head strategist and account manager at Marriage. He has extensive experience in consumer marketing, from executing campaigns in the national press, direct mail with Sky TV and digital marketing in the mobile app space.

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