Posts Tagged ‘high street brands’

Customer experience: The antidote to 3P*?

Friday, January 18th, 2013


*pound shops, payday loans & pies

The future of the high street

So, what now for Britain’s high streets? The demise of yet another high profile retailer is another portent for the future of shopping on our shores. Is there life for consumers in our towns and cities beyond the prevalent ‘3P’ offer of pound shops, payday loans and pies? The City wouldn’t appear to think so, with many masters of the universe putting their money where their mouth is in willing the high street to fail.

The Queen of Shops says…

The Portas Review made a set of clear recommendations designed to revive fortunes but mentioned little about customer experience. Was this underplayed? Surely brands big and small need a shot in the arm in the form of a reminder that there is much work to do here, if high street shopping is not to capitulate completely to the omnipotence of the online alternative? Ironic really when you consider how much brands invest in user experience as part of their digital development. And it rings true. When was the last time you had what could honestly be described as a ‘customer experience’ in Comet, Jessops, Blockbuster, HMV et al?

“What can we do better?”

So as not to labour the point, high street brands could start by taking a long hard look at their online counterparts and asking themselves the question “What can we do better?”. Not just a bit better. Not just much better. There’s no option but to be jaw-droppingly better, better on a level that stirs the loins, better that wakes people from a website induced slumber and makes them say “I want to go there”. Brand, service, convenience, environment, integration with digital channels…hey, even our old friend price has a role to play. And let’s not take it for granted that just because a. n. other brand has a presence on the high street, that customers are just going to walk in out of the goodness of their hearts. This is about finding prospective customers, engaging them, keeping them interested, converting them and retaining them.

As it stands, 3P (You read it here first) looks to be shaping our high streets. Let’s hope brands (I’ll say it again, big and small) have the sense to think about customer experience in leading the fight back.

By Neil Perrott

Image credit: Flickr, Bettysnake