How can tech save the great British High Street? Isn’t it the case that online and mobile retail is what’s killing our high streets, after all?
British high street stores are struggling with customer footfall this year, purely down to the fact that many shoppers would rather buy online or on mobile.
Consumers just love those easier, faster and cheaper ways of purchasing what they need that websites and retailer’s mobile apps offer.
So how can our traditional high streets also make use of tech to introduce new innovative rewards for it to thrive again?
Mobile payments loyalty app Yoyo Wallet carried out a survey with YouGov, which shows that the UK high street is still the preferred way to shop, especially for those who between 18 and 34, although the current experience is not meeting needs.
2018 welcomed GDPR, PSD2 and open banking and financial institutions were forced to get to grips with the opportunities and threats that these new regulations created, as well as working with customer financial data that was now available via APIs.
High street banks are looking at a new customer model of personal finance so that consumers can manage their money online and are rewarded for their custom, with programmes like mobile loyalty apps.
Michael Rolph, CEO of Yoyo Wallet, said: “Big chains like Primark go from strength to strength – and food and drink outlets such as Starbucks and Caffe Nero have done a fantastic job using fintech innovation through their mobile loyalty apps to keep customers coming through the doors.
“Investment in these innovations and taking the time to truly understand what customers want – remain key to survival for retail businesses on the high street,” Rolph said.
He added: “More than half would be willing to share their personal data with high street retailers if they received a more personalised customer experience, with offers and discounts tailored to past purchases topping the list of demands.”
Yoyo Wallet lets customers seamlessly pay, collect loyalty, get a fully itemized digital receipt, receive rewards and get personalized offers with a QR code scan. When Caffe Nero ran an Iced Drink campaign, the results were staggering.
Baskets that contained an Iced Drink increased by 148%, customers that purchased an Iced Drink increased by 215% and spend on baskets containing an Iced Drink increased by 212%.
Caffe Nero’s Head of Marketing Marcus Denison-Smith said: “Technology, and in particular, FinTech Innovation, has helped Caffe Nero develop the customer relationship further than four walls and a till; transforming a transactional experience into something that’s now more personal, relevant, valuable and engaging, which is delivering tangible benefits.”
A new report found that one in two UK consumers would be happy to share transaction data with third parties if they offered services that were more personalized. And one in three would be happy to use banking services from tech companies, because of the personal products that are offered.
While Open Banking will make banking more transparent, banks also have adopted loyalty and rewards schemes, which puts them in direct competition with the fintech industry.
“Using Open Banking, there is a wealth of new ways retailers can re-engage their customer base,” says True Layer’s COO Shefali Roy. “The first is by creating products or services that remove pain points – such as managing the payment of big-ticket items at a POS.
“Next, there’s developing apps that supplement the in-store experience. Finally, there’s using the information available through these platforms to get a better understanding of the spending habits and preferences of customers.
“Analysing consumer behaviour with analysed information can help retailers tailor their offering to better suit consumers.”