A little while ago, we saw the Beast from the East reign down on the Scottish high street, leading to a downturn in the March sales figures. In light of the harsh winds and downfall of snow, shoppers stayed inside the comfort of their own homes – meaning the bad weather had an undeniable knock on sales.
The Scottish retail figures remind us how simple external factors such as weather can have a significant impact on sales. In a time where bad news for the high street is reported almost daily, it is critical that retailers think ahead to create a productive and prosperous high street.
Retailers need to find ways to offset times when they are hit with events outside of their control, and this is where the right technology can play a big part.
Predicting the future isn’t magic, it’s data
When it comes to predicting the future, or planning for it, there’s no longer a need for a crystal ball. By applying data to predict consumer behaviour and include circumstances such as weather, regional events and other dynamics that influence when customers will be in store, retailers can plan for these points and ensure less wastage in food and hospitality for example.
Retailers can also use this data to better lay-out their stores, in-line with what consumers are likely to want to buy. For instance, if it is snowing as it was in March, fashion retailers could move their jackets, coats and scarves to the front of the store, where shoppers are more likely to see them.
Be where your customers are
In times where shoppers are less likely to wander outside, having a joined-up online experience can prove invaluable. As we saw with Scottish retailers in March, those who had a good multichannel offering still saw consumers shopping with them over their devices.
Our own Forgotten Shop Floor study found 68% of Scottish consumers say they have no real loyalty to high street retailers. With such fierce competition for their attention, it’s essential that you enable consumers to shop freely, via any channel they wish.
Ultimately, retailers who wish to see success in this ever-diversified retail landscape need to be savvy with their offerings. This means adapting to their customers’ needs and factoring in elements that may influence shoppers’ decisions.
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