Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Digital enterprise can save the high-street

UK shop closure rate at 14 stores a day

As the latest Eurozone retail sales figures are released, we are seeing 14 high-street stores a day are closing in the UK.[1] The closure of bricks-and-mortar shops is occurring at the same time when 65 per cent of internet users in the EU shop online, with 67 per cent of individuals aged 16-74 using the internet at least daily.[2] E-commerce sales for businesses with 10 or more employees topped £561 billion, putting the opportunity for retailers to increase their profitability.

James Parsons, Founder & CEO of digital workforce solutions and consulting company, Arrows Group Global, comments: “Digital technology provides the opportunity for retailers to boost their profitability in times of uncertainty. As consumer confidence is wavering, it is important that retailers ensure they explore all ways to interact with potential customers.

“The millennial generation is proving a challenge for retailers, with a preference for purchasing items anytime, anywhere. The difficulty that many businesses face is in creating a digital environment that fosters a culture of innovation, which is ultimately beneficial to end results. Retailers often have an idea about what they want the end user experience to be, but there is a big gap between idea and reality with it comes to digital transformation projects. Having digital expertise is crucial to ensuring that everything runs smoothly. Nothing ruins a customer’s experience more than an offering that is not seamless, while being prone to errors.

“Securing and retaining digital talent can be quite an issue for many retailers, especially in a market where there are more positions going than the skilled professionals to fill them. Retailers should not be afraid to look to skills around the globe, as the digital skills are a uniquely worldwide market. Often certain digital skillsets are more frequent in specific countries, so retailers need to make it a priority in the current climate, and consider new ways of securing the expertise they require.”