Technology Turning Point?
Posted on 19/06/2013
With one in five retail shops set to disappear over the coming years, the decline of the high street continues apace. Can anything be done to halt this terminal malaise?
The internet is being blamed for a continued shift away from traditional buying trends as cheaper prices and around-the-clock convenience proves too irresistible to ignore.
Technology continues to play a front line role in shaping consumer buying habits but maybe the same technology can be used to reverse the high street decline?
I’ve used click and collect services on many occasions, using my tablet to check if items are in stock and then picking them up direct from a store. Integrating online and in-store shopping experiences seems to be a good way forward. However retailers appear to be lagging behind other industries when it comes to embracing technology.
According to one recent report almost 70% of retail executives were not familiar with, or fully aware of the advantages of Unified Communications. Analysts fear businesses that are too slow to adapt to technology advances or to internet-led services will simply not be here in a few years’ time. Certainly the evidence on nearly every high street up and down the country paints a bleak picture. Bookmakers and discount pound shops seem to be the only areas thriving.
There are attempts by some retail giants for online rivals to be taxed more to create a more even playing field. But with tablet sales set to outstrip PC sales in two years, it’s another indication of the continued acceleration of mobility as ‘instant information on the go’ continues to grow.
Comet, Woolworths and Blockbuster were all victims of the high street decline. I wonder who will be next?
Richard Carter, Group Sales & Business Development Director, Nimans