Now’s the time to really make sure that your shop fronts are working as hard as they can for you to bring in the customers, as it seems that the cost of living is starting to affect footfall in high streets around the country, which could spell disaster for some retail businesses out there.
Stats from analysts Springboard show that footfall at outlets in the UK dropped by 2.3 per cent in the week beginning October 17th, with high streets the worst affected and seeing a decline of 3.3 per cent. Shopping centres and retail parks, meanwhile, dropped by 0.7 per cent and 1.5 per cent respectively, the Guardian reports.
Although footfall was up 5.9 per cent compared to the same time a year ago, this was as the pandemic was starting to reach some sort of conclusion – and footfall is still down 11.1 per cent on the levels seen in 2019.
Diane Wehrle, insights director with the firm, explained that consumer activity is currently being driven by various factors, but the most evident of these is the pressure being put on household incomes as a result of inflation and mortgage rate increases.
“This, mixed with the current political uncertainty, inevitably makes consumers cautious and then rein back on shopping trips,” she went on to say.
For businesses, focusing on how you’re going to re-engage with customers and encourage them to remain loyal to you could make a big difference over the next few months.
Prioritising your brand values and drawing attention to why consumers were attracted to you in the first place is vital to help you stay ahead of the competition. Even so, it may be difficult to acquire a new following at the moment, so nurturing and engaging with the customers you already have can yield very positive results.
It’s also important to remember that the customer experience is paramount these days – both online and in the real world. Providing fast and effective customer service is essential to keep people happy, but also make sure you focus on their in-store experiences so you become truly unforgettable in their minds.
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