How Digital Concepts And Hybrid Models Could Be The Saviour Of The High Street

Will Broome, the Founder of Ubamarket LTD, – discusses the ways in which hybrid models could be the saviour of the high street.

  • Footfall across UK retail destinations fell last week, according to new research released by retail analysts, Springboard. 
  • Footfall declined by 6.7% from the week before – a marked contrast from the 11.6% jump seen in the previous week, which was boosted by the bank holiday and warmer weather. 
  • However, footfall across destinations was 18.4% below 2019 levels, having been 14.5% below the week before.

Whilst commentators suggest that this could be a further sign of the demise of the British high street, there is cause for optimism. 

For example, Boohoo are preparing to open a small Debenhams store back on the high street, – in hopes of securing major deals with beauty brands. Despite this showing that there may still be a lifeline for physical retailers, retail inevitably still has some obstacles to overcome.

One way for retailers to revitalise their outlets in store, – is to make visiting shops exciting once again, with the implementation of digital concepts being a perfect way to do so, – whether that means through Artificial Intelligence, or another type of immersive experience. 

The idea of going back to high-street after a year of isolation may sound a little daunting for some, however, merging the digital world with traditional shopping can provide a smooth, stress-free and innovative experience for consumers.

Other such hybrid models of retail are shown through the integration of retail technology. Ubamarket, a pioneering retail app, has been on the front line of innovation in the retail sector, – helping supermarkets and convenience stores to revolutionise their operations by integrating with mobile technology.

The Scan, Pay, Go app Ubamarket provides, – is currently being implemented by a list of retailers, including: Central England Co-Op, SPAR, Budgens, and Londis, – with key features, such as: age verification, aisle sat-nav and AI-driven personalised offers, – proving instrumental in helping physical retail outlets transform their service offering, to compete in a post-COVID landscape. 

Will Broome, the Founder and CEO of retail-tech company Ubamarket, – discussed how Britain’s high street retailers can enhance their shopping experience, and thrive in a new age of physical retail: “as one of the most affected and integral institutions in society, it is essential that Britain’s retailers look to adapt to the new conditions to ensure that they survive the challenges COVID has thrown their way.”

Retail technology offers an all-encompassing solution. In Ubamarket’s case, – in the form of a simple app, which can put consumers in control, doing away with the need for time-consuming queues, unhygienic checkouts, and confusion about where products are and whether they are in stock,” he said.

By building lists off-site and checking stock before entering the store, retail technology can help reduce necessary queues before consumers travel to the outlet. It remains to be seen how the sector will fare beyond Coronavirus, but retail technology is sure to play a significant role,” he added.