Brands Offering More Than the Standard Service on the High Street

11 Mar 2019

We see so much in the news about the high street being in decline at the moment. For instance, figures from the Office for National Statistics reported by The Observer suggested that 80,000 retail jobs were lost in the first half of 2018. Plus, Professor Joshua Bamfield from the Centre for Retail Research was quoted by the Express during the last festive period as saying that the organisation was “expecting about 10,000 shops to close in the next year”.

But there are various brands which are going against the grain to ensure their stores continue to prove appealing to the public by offering more than just the sale of their products as part of their customer service. Here at Propsellers, we have looked to celebrate just a few of these success stories from our nation’s high streets…

 

Loyalty schemes

Loyalty cards are a big business in today’s retail world. The Telegraph reported that more than 90 per cent of the UK’s adult population has at least one loyalty card. In fact, the average shopper has three loyalty cards in their wallets or purses.

While it is true that many loyalty card holders can use their plastic both online and on the high street, those running brick and mortar stores can really feel the benefits of their brand providing this type of incentive.

Take the Tesco Clubcard as an example. As well as when purchasing groceries or other goods at the supermarket chain, customers can also earn reward points whenever they spend money at Tesco fuel stations. Fuel can obviously only be bought in person, so those with a Tesco Clubcard will likely be more inclined to head to a Tesco forecourt in order to rack up points as they top up their vehicle’s fuel tank. As they are on site, it stands to reason that they may have already decided to spend money inside the supermarket too — adding to the amount spent in-store as a result.

Loyalty card schemes are also a wise move for retailers who need customers to visit their physical stores in order to purchase their products or experience their services. For instance, Starbucks has its Reward Card and Costa Coffee provides a Loyalty Card — both provide customers with rewards and complimentary treats after they have purchased multiple drinks, but these refreshments can only be picked up in-store.

Then there’s the likes of Cineworld Unlimited and ODEON Limitless, which gives movie fans the chance to see as many films as they like for one set monthly price. People with either of these cards in their possession will be more likely to stick with the cinema chain associated with the incentive, though the only way they are going to benefit is by actually visiting a cinema.

Whichever way you approach loyalty cards, take note research from the Chartered Institute of Marketing which suggests that a five per cent increase in customer retention can be worth as much as an 85 per cent rise in sales. Furthermore, those loyal to a brand are said to spend over three-quarters as much as a new customer.

 

Apps which are improving the retail experience

You may believe that smartphone apps have had a negative impact on the high-street, as it means that people can now shop on the go in a quicker and more efficient manner. Sports retailer Nike looks to alter those opinions though.

Visit the brand’s Nike Town London store in Oxford Street and you’ll be able to witness the gap between shopping online and shopping in-store being bridged in a seamless manner. This is because the shop works alongside the recently released new Nike App, to the point where:

  • Before you visit the store, you can use the app to see if an item is in stock and in your size. Reservations can also be achieved through this system.
  • Geolocation tagging will allow the app to know once you’ve stepped inside the store.
  • With the ‘try on’ part of the app, you can scan an item’s barcode in the store and send out a request to try on the item in the size you need. This feature even allows you to determine where in the shop you’d like to the requested item to be placed.
  • Once you’re happy with an item, you can pay for the goods instantly via an instant checkout as opposed to joining a queue to get to a checkout.

The Nike Town London store even features in-store DJs, staff members who are dressed entirely in workout gear (they are actually deemed athletes) and Instagrammable displays to add to the unique vibe of the shop, with Nike’s global senior director of member and athlete services, Michelle Warvel, pointing out to the Evening Standard: “We’re all heads down 24/7 and we have to be pretty impactful to get consumers attention and we need to figure out how we bring that behaviour into how consumers are shopping in stores.”

Apps are now making it easier for people to visit the high street too. The PayByPhone app is a case in point here, as it allows you to pay for parking via your smartphone in the many cities and private parking operators which are involved in the initiative. When you’re walking around the high-street, the app will also alert you if your parking is almost up and even give you the option to add more time to the meter no matter how far you’re away from the car park.

 

Additional Sources

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1065005/High-street-britain-shops-closing

https://www.money.co.uk/guides/get-more-from-high-street-loyalty-schemes.htm

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