According to research from Worldpay, a third of small and independent retailers fear they may no longer be relevant in a market being shaped more than ever by technology and changing consumer habits.
Just under two thirds (61%) of respondents to the nationwide survey said technology poses a significant threat to their survival, and half (50%) said it can get in the way of providing a personalised experience to customers. Nevertheless 88% said understanding and embracing new technology represents their best chance of survival.
Apprentice winner and Worldpay iStreet ambassador Tim Campbell commented: “By embracing the opportunities technological advances can present and listening to customer’s needs there is still a place for the cherished brands and stores that many local residents trust and love. Being defeatist is not an option. Responding to changes is.”
This summer, Worldpay is running a national awareness campaign to help all small and independent retailers feel empowered to embrace technology in the day to day running of their business. A dedicated iStreet hub will provide practical guidance from a panel of small business experts. Small businesses will hear insight and advice on marketing, accountancy and other professional services that not only help small businesses sell more but also realise their larger ambitions.
To kick the campaign off and provide the nation real-world examples of what happens when small businesses embrace and invest in technology, Worldpay will be heading to the traditional seaside town of Great Yarmouth. In partnership with the Association of Town and City Managers we will be helping local businesses capitalise on the benefits of technology and become living case studies for other small businesses across the UK. Their stories will also live on the Worldpay iStreet hub and will detail their journey with different kinds of tools and technology over the course of the summer trading period.
Shanaaz Carroll, CEO of the Association of Town and City Management, commented: “Over the past five years ATCM has clearly recognised the opportunities and challenges for town centres presented by the increasingly rapid pace of technological change. To this end we have worked hard with key stakeholders at a local, regional and national level to ensure that areas are tapping into the digital potential in sectors such as place management, enhancing the visitor experience and ensuring that smaller businesses are embracing change.
“Working with Worldpay on the High Street to iStreet project is a crucial part of this process as their reach and experience will be used to directly benefit smaller retailers, and as a consequence benefit the towns and cities in which they trade.”