Making the High Street digital

The Evolving High Street

Social Media and brands are increasingly integrating e-commerce directly into their services, which will create big changes for brands selling to younger audiences.

Nike has experimented with selling trainers on Facebook Messenger via chatbots. Likewise, Topshop is experimenting with Instagram shoppable content.

Snapchat is again using their AR technology to enable users to virtually play or try a product on before purchasing and have partnered with a ticketing company, enabling athletes to sell tickets directly to their fans.

ASOS have commented that Instagram commerce could either “turbo charge” their own sales or be a big threat.

Social e-commerce could mean in theory that the entire customer journey, from discovery to purchase can now happen without the user ever leaving a single platform, and certainly without stepping outside their front door.

Our data consistently shows Amazon as the favourite online retailer for children aged 7 through to 18, and by a significant majority.

High street shopping is on a downward trend, with 63% of teenagers spending some of their weekend out shopping, compared to 67% 12 months ago – making it vital for retailers and shopping centres to start developing more kids and family-focused content to start winning back their hearts and wallets.

Retailers that combine online and offline fully can engage with their audience at all levels. By making their online offering link seamlessly with social media, and incorporating AR technologies, brands can facilitate this generation’s preference for a more unique identity.

This generation of savvy consumers, that have only ever known a world of constantly-connected and everything-online, also expect continual interaction with, and a level of accountability from, the brands they associate themselves with. By investing in online strategies that regularly and authentically demonstrate similar core values to their audience, brands can integrate themselves into a wider frame of reference. If they ensure the in-store experience is a true extension of this, companies can build strong brand advocacy and ensure the individuality that attracts their customer is also scalable.

As urbanisation continues to increase at a steady rate, high street retailers have a clear opportunity ahead of them, but they must have a clear strategy if they are to offer an offline experience that works for the next generation of digital natives.

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