New research from Barclaycard reveals that high-street stores have everything to win from ploughing money into in-store events
Hearing that online retailers are challenging traditional high-street vendors won’t come as a shock to anyone. Over the years it has become clear that customers are increasingly turning to places like Amazon and eBay to buy everything from food to fashion, forcing bricks and mortar stores to compete even more fiercely as a result. Fortunately, new research from Barclaycard, the payment-service provider, has revealed that retailers can get the jump over their rivals by hosting in-store events.
Having surveyed 251 senior decision-makers in retail and 2,002 customers, the researchers found that hosting events and providing entertainment in physical stores could boost their annual turnover by 14% on average. Additionally, initiatives like these could prove particularly effective in attracting young people. Customers between 18 and 24 years old are twice as likely as the national average to want stores to offer things like celebrity meet-and-greets, fitness events and education courses.
And with results like these, it’s hardly surprising that decision-makers in the retail sector plan to increase their investment in events by 113% over the next two years. Additionally, while Barclaycard found that over a third of retailers already host events in-store, almost a fifth of retailers will follow suit in the next three years. In fact, ensuring shoppers experience entertaining escapades in stores has become a priority to the extent that investments in other areas have been reduced. For instance, plans to revamp store layouts decreased by 51% while plans to increase the variety and amount of stock dropped by 41% and website investments fell by 33%.
Commenting on the research, George Allardice, head of strategy at Barclaycard Payment Solutions, said: “With consumer spending on entertainment and experiences increasing by 10.5% this year, there are opportunities across the board for shops of all shapes and sizes to capitalise on this and draw shoppers in with engaging experiences.”
While hosting events probably won’t completely remove the challenge posed by online retailers, it seems as if it could at the very least provide an edge against other vendors on the high street.