26 September 2013
Could technology rescue the high street?
With the right technology, high street stores could offer a whole new shopping experience to rival their digital cousins. Find out how Virgin Media’s fast-speed digital technology is helping make this happen.
The closure of several large retail chains, such as HMV, Comet and JJB Sports in recent months seems to have signaled the beginning of the end for high street retailers. With stores boarding up and shoppers heading out of town centers to online retailers such as Amazon, many have blamed the decline of the high street on competition from online business.
However digital technology could have a very positive role to play in revitalising the relationship that high street retailers have with their customers, transforming the shopping experience to be more in touch with consumer preferences.
Technology in retail is nothing new – we’ve seen QR codes draw customers in, apps help shoppers compare prices and social media spread the word about the latest promotions, but retail stores can go further! It could be through providing tablet computers so customers can order products they can’t find on the shelves, or even offering bespoke software that uses a virtual salesman to quickly find the right product for each shopper.
Virgin Media is helping to lead the digital revolution in this space with our new concept store in White City, which showcases what a digitally connected high street retailer can look like. The ‘Our House’ flagship store reinvents the traditional shopping experience through innovative design, leading edge digital technology and a touch of Virgin magic to create a retail environment like no other.
But it’s not just about changing the physical store experience. Today’s digital technology also provides a great opportunity to bring high street and online shopping experiences together. Bringing online tools into stores, such as virtual fitting rooms, integrating mobile shopping apps and using social networking to build awareness can make for a richer, more engaging shopping experience and help draw customers away from their computers and back into high street stores.