As retailers continue to navigate the new retail landscape post pandemic after experiencing more than two years of constant interruptions, we are supporting businesses in Kent and beyond to grow their online and physical presence. With consumer behaviour continuing to shift; with higher expectations, economic concerns, rising costs for both customers and businesses, it is vital that businesses make the most of opportunities in this new era of retailing.

Creating Communities

There are a number of trends that we’re seeing coming through on high streets and within town centres that are strengthening core connections between businesses, customers and stakeholders, from community hubs created to support fledgling businesses, new technology, exciting experiences and launches and local market concepts to name a few. We have been working alongside businesses to build on their successes and here we’re exploring the vital elements towards growing successful retail businesses on our high streets.

Many businesses online and with physical stores are utilising community spaces and vacant units to connect their brands to ‘local’ consumers with lifestyle experiences, hosting classes, exhibitions, talks on a number of topics including well-being and other special ‘pop up’ events with the aspiration of moving permanently to an area.

Customer Expectations

The need for customers to access convenience locally has resulted in many retailers exploring new ways to use their current spaces to add services and exceed customer expectations, including the introduction of Click and Collect, local deliveries, updated consumer friendly returns policies, personalisation and phased payment options, all with the view of attracting and retaining customers.

Harnessing Technology

Harnessing technology is one of the biggest growth areas and improving customer experience whether online or in store, helping customers to engage with the technology across all platforms is vital to build engagement. This approach will result in an increase in the average transaction value and build loyalty to a brand.

Experience

Creating an experience is a huge opportunity for retailers right now as customers are returning to stores in person and looking to connect with brands and build relationships with the people behind the brands, their products and values and there is still an importance placed on a physical presence to showcase brands that customers have discovered online. Brands continuing to build their identity by analysing data and customer spend is an upward trend and gives retailers a competitive advantage.

If you would like to know more about the work we do to support high streets then sign up to our retail blog.

Our next blog will explore the power of connecting communities through the delivery of local markets.

Discover more retail insights here: https://retailinspired.org

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