How the high street has had to adapt marketing strategies to evolve over the last decade

In February 2018 two of the great retail names, Toys ‘R’ Us and Maplin went into administration and shut their doors for the last time. These are two cases of high street stores that simply didn’t adapt to current demands and employ new marketing strategies.

With the way consumers behave constantly changing and continuous advancements in digital technology, the high street especially has found that it needs to do more to keep customers coming in.

Marketing has been forever at the heart of the great retail stores who have fought to stay in and excel in business, with the last decade proving to be prime for those which were able to make the transition in their strategies, yet keep a sympathetic balance between old and new.

Know where your customers hang out

According to a survey by top tier management consultancy, PWC in 2018, 31 percent of people said they would be completing their Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping via their mobile phones, while 65 percent of people over 65 (a demographic often forgotten) said they would be shopping digitally.

Those businesses who realised over the last couple of decades that their customers or target market had an affinity with shopping online were able to target them effectively with the right offers, deals and other general marketing material such as e-newsletters and the like.

Digitally-savvy e-commerce companies found they were able to leverage their online skills and marketing strategies with paid advertising campaigns that reached out to their target market with products based on specifically selected variables, such as age and interests. This has since become costly though.

In fact, something as simple as having a website effectively became the best form of marketing that a high street store could have. The internet sparked a need for convenience among consumers, who knew that they could do their shopping without even leaving the house, knowing their products would be delivered swiftly.

Email marketing strategies, which replaced the old leaflet through the letterbox technique, became another popular tactic. In fact, those retail businesses which kept up-to-date with the latest trends such as Next, knew the majority of their customers shopped online, so started prompting customers to fill in their email address to complete any purchase.

This way, they knew they could target those customers with any offers, loyalty schemes, new product launches – effectively anything to ensure their customer base kept returning, staying ahead of high street rivals.

Staying ahead of the game with the right people

Those business who realised that they needed a digital marketing strategy, invested in expertise to ensure that they kept in front of their competition.

Whether this was with external agencies or completely new inhouse digital marketing departments, this effectively became the most important part of a high street’s business, almost overnight.

While chains such as Woolworths failed to realise how crucial this was and as such went out of business, the likes of Marks & Spencer capitalised on the emerging rise of digitally qualified growth experts.

Of course, television advertising still plays a huge role, though is particularly expensive and generally only used by the big chains.

The next big business growth tactic?

With the acceptance that the internet will continue to play a vital role, it will be the companies who differentiate themselves from their competition to get in front of their target market to ensure their business flourishes.

Email marketing campaigns, social media and even SEO has become highly competitive and even costly as the demand for online customer acquisition continues to increase.

New technology marketing platforms may well be the answer for the high street, especially local businesses looking to grow.

Platforms which enable businesses to reach a community of actively interested buyers instantly with offers and valuable information about their business will become an advantageous strategy. It is why Snizl was built.

To give businesses such as yours a fighting chance to compete in a crowded online marketplace, Snizl enables you to send alerts to the devices of your followers, in what is gradually becoming a far more effective way of reaching customers than social media.


Learn more about how you can reach interested customers in your area to ensure that they are kept well-informed about your business.

Matt Haynes

Written by Matt Haynes

Matt is a professional Copywriter/Journalist with experience in brand strategy and growth marketing.

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