A shocking new statistic has emerged from the BRC-LDC vacancy monitor today, highlighting that 13.7% of shops were unoccupied in the final quarter of 2020.
With one in ten shops on the high street now lying empty, brands need to start investing in the new digital high street if they want to survive in a year of similar uncertainty. An online presence is no longer a ‘nice to have’ but a necessity – and a strong, personalised user experience online will only help brands nurture a loyal customer base.
Since the start of COVID-19, the demand for a great customer experience (CX) has only grown, especially online. Infobip research discovered that more than half (51%) of people believe that communication has become more important since the pandemic and a third (35%) want to engage with brands on digital channels. The future of the high street is looking fragile, and with more and more bricks and mortar stores closing and town centres emptying, ‘ghost cities’ could soon become a reality.
But this doesn’t mean brands should give up – if digitisation is properly managed then this can prove lucrative, but the time to act is now. Infobip found that British businesses could well have lost more than £2.5 billion due to bad customer service during the first lockdown. Those who sit out the pandemic in the hopes of a light at the end of the tunnel may risk falling short to competitors that are prioritising building a strong online CX.