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  • James Smithdale

Quick wins to boost store footfall

You already have customers committed to your brand, who need to love what you stand for, enjoy how you operate and relish the products and service you offer them. But they are being let down in the store and that’s the last thing you need in the current crisis.


It’s worth looking at new data on shifting consumer expectations, which we commissioned in a Censuswide survey of 100 retail executives and 2,000 UK consumers. Our aim was to explore the changing attitudes of shoppers and the ways in which retailers are attempting to respond to new consumer behaviours.


​The resulting report, Building up not knocking down: the importance of bricks and mortar in a digital age is now available for download.


What stood out is the degree to which retailers are searching for effective yet straightforward solutions to the high street’s challenges. They are committed to loyalty programmes, and know that the right offers and campaigns will help drive footfall. The vast majority understand that technology must underpin their offer in stores.


  • A massive 89% of retailers with 100-249 employees said they planned to develop their loyalty programme.

  • Almost three quarters (73%) of large retailers said they planned new customer offers to encourage footfall.

  • 87% of retail execs said technology would be important or very important to the future of the high street.

  • 41% of retailers are working towards paperless transactions.


Desperately seeking cost-effective tech solutions


While the retailers we spoke to clearly recognise tech and digitisation is the future, they’re also worried about the level of investment transformation programmes may need. As recession looms following the coronavirus crisis, cost control will be even higher up the agenda for most in our sector. Even before the pandemic began, we found that over a third of retail execs (34%) said they’re concerned about the high cost of implementing technology. A third said they were worried about training staff to use the latest technology. And 35% of UK retail executives said they are still concerned about their ability to join up online and offline retail experiences.

Consumers want frictionless interactions

When we questioned consumers there was clear evidence that the Gen Z and Millennial age groups had the highest expectations but often felt let down in store. Of particular note is the fact that 16 to 34-year-olds are three times as likely to be dissatisfied with their shopping experience in stores than older age groups. For instance, a quarter of this group considered plastic loyalty cards to be more hassle than they’re worth, while a fifth missed out on loyalty benefits because they did not have their card with them.

The younger generations are extremely mobile-centric and much of our research pointed to the fact that physical shopping would be far easier if they could use smartphones more widely in their interactions with retailers.


Next-gen loyalty is within easy reach


Contactless payments and pay by phone are seeing huge growth, epitomising shoppers’ love of speed and convenience at the checkout. A natural progression is to offer your loyalty scheme through the customer’s smartphone, as opposed to on a plastic card which may well get lost or left at home, and to eschew printing of paper receipts.


The pqCode app does exactly this by providing a very simple way for a retailer to switch to a digital platform for customers to store and apply their loyalty card, without the need for a big integration project. At the same time it also provides digital receipts that open up a dynamic engagement channel between retailer and customer. For the retailer, deployment is fully compatible with the existing payment processing configurations or loyalty platform.

To access our research for free, simply download our White Paper here.

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