It won't be the first time you've heard the question, "is the web killing the high street"? It's one of the questions everyone is asking in this time of financial difficulty and it's true that the web is not doing the high street any favours, but in my opinion the high street is as much to blame. [more]
Many of our clients have reported an increase in sales over the last few months and whilst we are not sure of the exact reason, there are certainly a number of potential factors. Could it be the percieved savings to be made by buying online? Or the direct approach of just being able to buy what you want without being tempted by other high street stores nearby. Or maybe typing in that credit card number gives a more guilt free feeling that opening your wallet or purse up to someone else?
Personally, I'm starting to think customer service and the way shops treat their customers is one of the big factors. Have you noticed how poor it has got over the last few years? High street shops are full of bored staff who look like they always want to be somewhere else, and god forbid if you want to talk to them – what an imposition!
I've had so many bad experiences with the big chain stores lately all I want to do is curl up at my desk or on the couch and take the no-nonsense approach to shopping online. I can see what I am buying and how much it costs and if I have a problem, I fire off a quick email that usually gets a prompt and friendly reply from someone who wants to help. Contrary to my recent experiences in the real world where I end up leaving the store feeling conned and belittled when I don't understand the complicated rules behind the special offer and when the member of staff I query something with is just curt with me.
With the high street in decline, why is it not pulling the all the stops out to save itself?