High street ‘dinosaurs’ left behind by digital age

High street retailers who don’t keep up in the digital age will be left behind, according to new data from Worldpay.

According to the payments processor, small and independent stores are seeing year on year growth of up to 8% by allowing customers to browse and purchase online as well as in-store.

By contrast their bricks-and-mortar only peers have seen their revenues shrink in the same period.Among the sectors benefiting most from investing in new technology:

  • Florists that provide customers a mix of online and in-store shopping options have grown 8.34% in the past year, while bricks and mortar only stores whose have seen revenues decline by 0.41%
  • Bakers and cake shops that make it easy to order from them online have added 8.70% to their bottom line. Those that don’t have seen revenues flat-line

In-store sales among these more digitally enabled businesses grew at a far faster rate (+2.06%) than their bricks-and-mortar only counterparts (-0.09%).

James Frost, UK CMO, Worldpay, said: “Far from killing off traditional high-street businesses, easy access to technologies like ecommerce is helping small business owners to reinvent their relationship with customers by being more flexible to their needs.

“UK shoppers still love heading to the high street, but it is not always practical, possible or convenient to do so. It’s fantastic when a regular customer pops in to see you for some advice, but our data shows that real loyalty stems from giving customers a choice.”

James Frost added: “Tougher trading conditions emerging over recent months have exposed a growing gap between the high-street’s digital ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’. When times are tough, it can be difficult for bricks and mortar businesses to do much to open up new revenue streams.

“Businesses that also sell online are finding they have far more options to off-set any downturn in spending among their local customer base by targeting shoppers further afield, including abroad.”

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Shekina Tuahene

Shekina is a multimedia journalist who has lived in London all her life. She is an alumnus of University of Greenwich and Brunel. Shekina loves to read, travel, socialise and listen to music. If you have any story or feature ideas, feel free to drop her a line.

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