Callcredit Blog

Fairytale of New York or digital ghost town?

Consumer Marketing Data Market Analysis & Network Planning

Black Friday is fast becoming a quaint tradition, hijacked by retailers in the USA as another gimmick to tactically squeeze a few more sales out of fleeting tablet toting high street visitors to the sound of The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl.

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In the UK, town centres badly need rejuvenation.  The Distressed Town Centre Property Taskforce recently said that structural changes needed in retail are so fundamental, many towns and cities need reshaping.  Callcredit’s own RetailVision report points out that retailers are looking for new ways to stimulate footfall and establish their identity.

So whilst high street retailers address these challenges, the time is now right for online retailers to steal a march.  Yes, we will continue to see a peak of online sales activity (In the UK, known as Cyber Monday) as people try to avoid last minute shopping but this pattern will gradually diminish for example due to the increase in mobile devices for convenience led shopping.

Many online retailers see themselves as not competing with the high street but rather other ecommerce firms.  So why do we not see more interesting online experiences?  The opportunity to personalise and enhance the online shopping experience is missed in most cases.  Basket abandonment initiatives are important but certainly not enough.  The time is now right for online retailers to be more innovative in how they use data, content and apps and APIs to profile their visitors and dynamically select ideas, news, reviews and suggestions that are likely to be interesting to each individual visitor, rather than the average visitor.

Let’s avoid a digital ghost town and help create a new generation of retailing that consumers want to take part in.

Author: Paul Kennedy

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