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Businesses Join Consumers in Abandoning the High Street

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With major retailers disappearing from UK high streets on an almost daily basis, and consumers turn their backs on bricks and mortar stores, a new report from leading full-service e-commerce agency PushON has uncovered that it isn’t just consumers abandoning the high street; businesses are going elsewhere too.

PushON surveyed key business decision makers from up and down the country and found that their views on visiting the high street for purchases matched that of the average consumer, with 78% claiming to be more inclined to buy products for their business online, than via a physical store.

80% of those surveyed admitted to buying products online because it’s quicker and easier than visiting a bricks and mortar store.

Sam Rutley, managing director at PushON, commented:

“In recent months it has been the consumer shouldering the majority of the blame for the decline for the British high street, but our research shows that this isn’t necessarily fair. British businesses are also turning their backs on the high street as they look for quicker, more efficient methods of purchasing products and supplies.

“Key decision makers and those with purchasing responsibilities in businesses are nearly always short of time and looking for processes and proficiencies to free some up. Why would they take time out of their day to travel to an often out-of-town stationary store to pick up supplies, for example, when an office manager could purchase these in just a few minutes via a few clicks?

“Unsurprising, as e-commerce continues to boom, high street stores are seemingly becoming more and more redundant to businesses and their growing needs.”

But it’s not all doom and gloom. The research does highlight one sector that continues to show some promise for bricks and mortar. Only 43% of those surveyed admitted to buying office furniture online, with most still preferring to visit a physical store instead. However, 49% did admit to being tempted to making expensive furniture purchases online, if retailers could provide more in-depth product information – offering up an opportunity for online furniture stores to jump in and snap the space up.

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