How digital is evolving the UK high street

The marketing industry calls it “omni-channel retailing” – customers call it shopping.

The extraordinary pace of change in technology is creating profound shifts in customer expectations.
 
Whether it’s online, offline or click-and-collect is largely irrelevant – the customer now sees digital and physical worlds as one. As long as they get the product, service and price they want in the most convenient way possible, the reviews will be positive.
 
And those reviews are lifeblood for retailers – even a negative review responded to well is better than no reviews at all. Reviews matter more than price.

Having worked with The Mall at Cribbs Causeway, Manchester Arndale and The Lexicon Bracknell, we are now experts in creating digital shopping experiences and online marketing campaigns for retail shopping centres. 
 
With The Lexicon Bracknell, the aim is to deliver the UK’s most digitally enhanced shopping centre experience.
 
At the heart of the £240m town centre regeneration in Bracknell is a significant investment in technology and a sophisticated Wi-Fi infrastructure to support the shopping experience in a way no other UK shopping centre can.

2018 will be a year of test and learn for The Lexicon. We’ll be looking at how digital can provide shoppers with a personalised experience based on their shopping preferences. We’ll also be supporting retailers with a range of events and promotions driving footfall at key times.
 
For Manchester Arndale, our focus is positioning the shopping centre as the heart of the city, and winning the hearts and minds of city centre shoppers. Recent campaigns have included a giant interactive Christmas window display at Manchester Victoria Station, where shoppers on Black Friday weekend could play with a colourful kaleidoscope of brilliant Christmas gift ideas – all available at the city’s Manchester Arndale Centre. 10,000 offer-packed tote bags were given away to people who played with the screen, driving traffic to the centre where voucher redemptions reached 11%.



Our work also includes influencer marketing, where specially selected social influencers around the city share their fashion inspiration, and online event support for key dates like Manchester Arndale’s Student Nights and Fashion Weekenders.
 
UK retail centres are becoming multi purpose. DJ sets are a huge attraction for Manchester students. Catwalk shows are a seasonal highlight for Cribbs and their Tesla showroom is a huge success. We will see the shopping experience become more diverse, with digital innovation including personalisation, virtual reality and artificial intelligence changing retail at pace.