Our Spending Habits are Changing - How Digital Transformation Can Help You Stay Relevant

7 Apr 2021

People’s spending habits are always developing and this has repercussions for businesses. If you’re not constantly adapting, then it’s hard to maintain relevance, however, digital transformation can ensure you’re keeping ahead of the trends. 

 

How We Shop 

 

In 2015, e-commerce sales represented just 7.4% of global retails sales. In 2020, that figure reached 16.1%, and in the UK, comfortably over 25%. It’s clear that the way we shop has been steadily changing, and the pandemic has only accelerated this. 

 

For retail shops, this means an online presence is a necessity, but it also requires an integration of the physical and online spheres. 

 

Your brick-and-mortar store should work in harmony with your online store, and digital transformation can ensure this happens. Through technology such as digital signage and automated lockers, customers benefit from the best of both worlds, helping both sides of your business. 

 

What We Value 

 

It’s not just about the products and services you sell, increasingly, it’s just as much about the experience you offer. This is particularly true for younger generations, who are shown to value experience over almost anything else. 

 

For physical stores, this is a hugely important point. 

 

E-commerce might be convenient, but it can’t offer an immersive shopping experience in the same way that physical stores can. Online sales are increasingly putting a squeeze on the high street, but businesses that embrace innovative customer experiences will always be rewarded. 

 

Digital integrations are an excellent way to enhance the customer experience, and we’re seeing this play out with the success of certain pop-up-shops.

 

How We Pay 

 

Not only has the way we shop changed, but also the way we pay. As recently as 2017, cash was the most common way to pay for goods in the UK, but this has been in steep decline. 

 

Fuelled partly by the pandemic, the use of cash dropped by 40% in 2020. 

 

This swing towards different forms of payment is only set to continue, and this is exemplified through Amazon’s “Just Walk Out” stores

 

This links back to the value of the customer experience. People want to be able to pay in the most convenient way, and they certainly don’t want to spend their time waiting in line. The payment process is a huge part of the shopping experience, and digital transformation allows you to completely re-imagine this part of your offering.

 

You need to be able to offer people smart ways to pay, and they need to reflect modern spending habits.  

 

How We Engage 

 

The way we engage with brands is constantly changing. In years gone by, stores might have reached their target audience through print ads or radio spots, but today, we tend to engage with brands online. 

 

Social media is almost ubiquitous, and even the most tech-shy businesses are recognising the power of the online world. 

 

Again though, the online world and the physical world shouldn’t exist in isolation, and they need to complement each other. The ways in which people engage with your brand online can easily be supplemented by the technology you have in your store. 

 

Digital signage allows for easy sharing capabilities, access to online resources, and the ability to learn about the people behind the brand. This is an essential part of engaging with modern customers, and it’s possible through digital transformation. 

 

Takeaways

 

Vendors need to stay relevant in a world that’s constantly changing. 

 

Over the past decade (and further back), we’ve seen large changes to how we shop, what we value, how we pay, and how we engage with brands. Those businesses that have adapted to these changes will prosper, but those that don’t risk being left behind. 

 

One way your business can take steps in this area and maintain relevance with the modern consumer is through digital transformation. At Meridian Digital Solutions, we specialise in bespoke digital solutions, so contact us and find out how you can transform your business.

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