Over the last decade, high street retail stores have had a difficult time. In the recession of 2009, UK shops faced a sharp decline exacerbated by the rise in online shopping, seeing big-name retailers close entirely or significantly reduce their high street presence.

Rather than erode bricks and mortar retail to nothing, as online shopping had been predicted to do, it has opened up opportunities for retailers to blur the line between the online and high street experience. More new independent retail stores are reportedly opening up than closing down in the UK. Here are five ways retailers are using the online experience to help their stores stay relevant.

Adjusting to the power shift of knowledge

Consumers are more savvy about the products they want to buy. They do their research first before they visit a store. A successful retailer will make sure their online presence stands out amongst their competitors, informing their customers and helping them make their choice before they step out of the door.

Delivering relevant messages

Before the advent of online shopping, a retailer would only get to know their customers’ needs when the customer visited their shop. Now they can anticipate their customers’ requirements by analysing the way they search online, how they arrived at the retail website, and their relative location.

Getting the customer to the store

Consumers now expect to not only be able to identify the product they want to buy, but they also expect to be able to find the nearest store and contact the retailer if necessary.

Impressing the customer once they arrive

With all of the product browsing already having been done online, keeping the customer engaged while in the store is a new challenge. Providing targeted content via TV screens or monitors brings movement and life to a retail space. A digital experience using in-store advertising and music for business from providers such as https://moodmedia.co.uk/in-store-media/ creates a seamless continuation of the online experience and enhances familiarity with the store.

Social Media

Word of mouth travels quicker and to more people than ever before thanks to social media, enabling consumers to share their opinions about products. Retailers are now interacting with their customers directly through social networks, and that works to constantly improve their service and standing.