Infosys Consulting stresses importance of bricks and clicks
The latest ONS retail stats show that the UK High Street is alive and kicking, according to Manu Tyagi, Associate Partner for Retail and Consumer Goods, Infosys Consulting. Physical stores raked in 78.5% of all retail sales during November. Whilst e-commerce grew to 21.5%.
“Unfortunately for online retailers, the precedent has now been set and retailers like Amazon are trying to reassure consumers that they are not responsible for the so-called “demise” of the High Street. It is grossly unfair to say that Amazon is singlehandedly destabilising High Street retail sales. It’s simply untrue – physical retail sales in UK still account for almost four in five pounds spent by British consumers. What’s more, retailers focusing on an omnichannel approach across in-store and online are those reaping the most rewards," says Tyagi.
“Frankly consumers will spend wherever they get the best combination of choice, convenience, price, and experience. Customer experience is the focus of retailers who are thriving. Those investing in technology for consumer targeting, effective personalisation, robust operations and strong loyalty management will see more revenue and margin growth than those who ignore the consumer journey."
JD Sport and Missguided, for instance, have been able to blend their online and physical presence well. While their online sales are rising, they have also added new physical stores. This highlights that there’s scope for retailers with a customer-centric strategy to survive and thrive, while others crumble around them.
“Retailers who ask for a level playing field in terms of taxation is a wider debate, but we must not ignore that regulations will not be able to stop the advent of digitally-aware consumers," Tyago concludes.