The retail landscape has changed dramatically over the past decade. With a shift from brick-and-mortar storefronts to online shops, the customers are sending a clear message to retailers – adapt to the landscape of today or risk the business failing all together. In the first half of 2016 alone the UK reported 15 shops a day closing. Not only that, but the amount of new shops opening hit a five-year low.
It seems the time has come that the high street needs to take a good long look at their online efforts and really make sure they are meeting the demands of today’s consumers. Not everyone is falling behind in this regard however some of the top high street stores are looking at this as an opportunity to reach all new markets and open the door to additional sales.
One of the standout retailers that seems to really have a firm grasp of the importance of online sales is Debenhams, who may just be leading the charge on high street.
No Stranger to Changing Landscapes
When it comes to weathering change and adapting to the current marketplace, few retailers can compete with what Debenhams has achieved. Considering this retailer was founded back in the 18th century, it’s clear it has seen its fair share of innovation, changes, and trends in the marketplace. Today, Debenhams can be found in 27 countries around the world and has more than 25,000 employees.
As consumers demand more and more products available online, Debenhams seems to be responding in a big way and is even using online sales as a way to launch new marketing strategies. Successful strategies such as its social shopping campaign and email marketing campaign have really taken off thanks to today’s focus on online shopping.
A Number of Factors Involved
As for why this shift has occurred, well there are a number of factors in play. The influx of smartphones and tablets have created a more connected and digital age, giving just about everyone out there access to the online world. People are looking for convenience, variety, and the ability to shop on their own schedule. Online stores don’t have business hours, shopping can be done any day of the week in the day or the night.
There are other factors involved too. The UK has seen a real shift in spending as people find the cost of goods are going up, there are increases in the national living wage and business rates, and most people’s household income is being stretched to the limit. There is this desire to find the best deal out there, and the internet often has the solution.
A Trend that Will Stick Around
Trends are famous for coming and going and not sticking around long. The online shopping phenomenon is not one of those types of trends. Rather than showing signs of stopping and slowing down, if anything it seems to be picking up speed forcing even the top high street stores to take notice.