67% of retailers are investing in more engaging in-store experiences to draw people back to the high street.
This is according to new In-Store Digital Engagement data from M-Cube, which surveyed 250 UK retail and marketing leaders to find out if the high street is catching up post-pandemic.
The findings revealed that a majority (27%) of retail leaders say consumers will return to the high street entirely. Interestingly, 26% of respondents think shoppers will shop more in physical stores than in the pre-pandemic era, claiming the high street will be busier than before.
The survey also found that 67% of respondents prioritize in-store and online investments equally, with 13% investing significantly more in in-store experiences. However, more than half (53%) will not reduce their e-commerce investments as consumers return to brick-and-mortar stores.
As leaders see value in both digital and physical offerings, more than half of respondents increased omnichannel spending by over 20% this year. Despite this, 73% of respondents say the cost-of-living crisis will affect both stores and online in 2022, while 16% say it will affect brick-and-mortar stores more.
Alexios Blanos, UK Business Director of M-Cube, said: “Despite the difficult times during the pandemic, the future of the high street looks bright. This research reveals that brands are moving away from the online focus that has polarized retail in recent years and are investing more than ever in the in-store experience. While we all need to be wary of the cost of living crisis, with the technologies available, this is an exciting time and opportunity for the rebirth of the retail industry.”
When asked which digital services are a priority in 2022, the majority of those surveyed personalization services (39%) are the main focus. This was followed by fulfillment and inventory technology (26%), applications (24%) and evolved payments (11%). Sales assistant experience (10%) was also identified as key.
When it comes to Metaverse, 15% of respondents believe it will be the future channel for retailers, while 53% said it could be, and are doing more research into consumer behaviors in this area.
“At M-Cube, we guide our clients through their in-store digital transformation, supporting them in adopting digital touchpoints to design customer experiences in line with today’s customer needs. Preparing and investing in digital innovation will ensure a powerful brand experience for customers,” said Blanos.
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