Retail Reimagined: The Digitally-Remastered High Street

The global economic future is largely being built on ecommerce, however, in order for it to meet the needs of society, stakeholders should be involved in shaping a new wealthier, safer, fairer, caring culture. This report focuses on how partnerships can shape the next phase of ecommerce in order for high streets to benefit from these digital impacts.

Date added 21 July 2021
Last updated 21 July 2021

The global economic future is largely being built on ecommerce, however, in order for it to meet the needs of society, stakeholders should be involved in shaping a new wealthier, safer, fairer, caring culture. This report by the Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) focuses on how partnerships can shape the next phase of ecommerce in order for high streets to benefit from these digital impacts.

For context, the report predicts that retail jobs will fall by 1/3 in the next decade, meaning 900,000 of 3 million retail jobs will go and 74,000 of 270,000 stores will close. Therefore, the report tackles the issues around how ecommerce has been defined by large tech technology companies and argues that their disruptive technologies have contributed to this major impact on high streets. As such, the report suggests that high streets need to get involved in shaping the development of ecommerce. To do so, the report calls for shared language and definitions, and support for innovation deriving from coordination and collaboration.

The report contains six sections as follows:

  • The Attention Model and the Biggest Boycott in History focuses on giving more power and control to society around ecommerce and move them from inactive to active participants.
  • The Customer is Well Connected: What will they need shops for? examines how occupancy models require changing due to the continuous change in the relationship between consumers, retailers and high streets.
  • Shop Small: For Communities to Thrive, Small Businesses need to Thrive considers how SMEs contribute to the vitality of high streets and how they can participate in the digital shift.
  • Smartphone: The Real Omnichannel Utility discusses smartphones as the essential item bridging marketing and retail channels and how places can benefit from this.
  • Redefining retail for a digital evidence matrix looks at the need for changing current definitions of retail due to the digital age, and because spending is shifting from goods to services.
  • Recommendations that outline four key elements needed to balance digital impacts on place and activate them into being discoverable, personalised and digitally accessible: GOAL, PLAN, METRICS and PROJECT.