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UK Spending Insights: Online Spending Helps to Lift British High Street

6 minute read

It’s no secret that it has been a trying year for the UK high street. Over the last 12 months, several household retailers have felt the effect of reduced footfall, causing them to cut down on their store portfolios.

However, new purchase data suggest that capitalising on their customers’ online behaviour may just prove to be the saving grace retailers are looking for.

Cardlytics’ most recent Spend Index shows that online spending among traditional high street retailers has outpaced their overall growth by three times.

High street bookshops and pet shops are good examples of those finding effective ways to capture online traffic. In January 2018 alone, established high street book stores experienced a year-on-year online growth of 66% against a 3% decline for in-store sales. And, pet shops experienced an increase of 27%, helping to drive increased in-store spending. Overall, spending in bookshops increased by almost a quarter, while pet shops rocketed by a third.

Sales at pure-play online fashion retailers grew by 12% year-on-year, a rate growth four times higher than traditional high street fashion retailers’ online brands. This is a warning sign for an industry that has historically relied heavily on brick-and-mortar spend.

So, what can retailers take away from the latest figures?

As the data shows, there’s an opportunity in the slowdown, specifically in using online channels effectively.

For retailers looking to lift their sales, here are some digital strategies for capturing online traffic to boost bricks and mortar:

  • Make your online channels work harder by promoting seasonal online shipping deals or offering return rewards;
  • Use online to bring customers into stores by offering free store collection alongside discounts on most popular items;
  • Target likely buyers based on actual spend and location across web, mobile and digital, so you know your marketing efforts are getting in front of most relevant audience.
  • Reach buyers when and where they’re already thinking about money, with rewards offers within their bank channels that are easy to gather and redeem.

To keep up with the changing UK retail landscape, the rapid rise of online-only players, and evolving consumer behaviour, retailers must work harder to engender loyalty. Cardlytics Direct allows brands to reach likely buyers with ads they want to see. Read more about Cardlytics Direct here.

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