As a second lockdown hits the UK on Thursday, the British Retail Consortium has warned that this could be the last straw on the camel’s back for many high street stores.
The Waterstones MD has also added that customers could turn to Amazon instead of high street booksellers as Christmas shopping begins.
But all is not lost for the high street, Andrew Fowkes of Global Retail Practice, SAS said, “Amazon does not have a monopoly on speed, efficiency and ease. As non-essential stores close from Thursday, Britain’s high street retailers can match these qualities online to win customers. However, beating rivals on customer service this Christmas will be make or break for many retailers.
“New research from SAS suggests a third of customers would now ditch companies after just one bad experience – with price not always the key factor. Customers want personalised experiences, seamless payments and fast service. Whether multinational titans or independent stores, brands able to apply advanced analytics to understand their customers will see results while physical stores are closed.
“We have seen a huge surge in first-time digital customers, who are likely to remain online-first or even online-only for the foreseeable future. This presents a huge opportunity for retailers to capture a new market. Brands must engage these customers, and leverage data to make better decisions about what goods to offer them at what price. By understanding what customers want from their shopping experience, businesses relying on online sales during lockdown can compete with and beat the established ecommerce juggernauts.”