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The high street of today: How technology is boosting our instore experience


February, 2017

I am a millennial. My consumer behaviour began with the advent of the spice girls, flatform trainers, blockbuster movie rentals and virgin megastores.  And just as I did at 13, I still meet with friends for leisurely Saturday afternoon shopping trips….only the happy meals have been swapped for skinny lattes and sushi, and there has also been one very important addition which has changing my buying habits forever; my smartphone.


I have an app for everything; I can check the weather before I leave the house, plan for any traffic delays and map the best route, browse the best carpark for proximity and price, book a table at a restaurant, share my location with my friends, scan a barcode to see if I can get a better price with another retailer, or pin a photograph to my interests board so I can remember the product later on.


There are hundreds of thousands of people who choose to purchase their products just as I do – browsing physical stores or ordering online, or a combination of the two. Never has it become easier to choose how, when and where to purchase a product, as well as selecting how and when to get it home. And although there has been radical growth in digital shopping, the high street is still as relevant as ever.

The high street of today; how technology is boosting our instore experience

Businesses successfully embracing this change in consumer behaviour are combining digital and “real world” experiences so the shopper has a choice of which buying journey they want to take. Some businesses are even investing in ways to transform their high-street space into high-impact and compelling experiences so it is a place of destination in its own right. For many retailers the aspiration to promote awareness and engagement in the real world is as big a part of the business model as creating the right shopping experience online.
 

It’s interesting to compare the high-street I knew in my teens to that of today and pinpoint which brands survived the struggle with the digital world and which were not so fortunate, but it does prove Darwin’s theory that the key is to be the most adaptable. Although it doesn’t quite explain my beloved 90’s throwback flatforms – but good fashion is evolution not revolution.
 

Learn more about future trends in retail here

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