About this guide

Econsultancy’s How the Internet Can Save the High Street report contains more than 60 recommendations for retailers who want to succeed in a digital age, covering topics including in-store wi-fi, ‘reserve and collect’, in-store kiosks and ‘pop-up shops’.

The report includes insights from experts and examples of companies which have embraced digital and reaped the rewards.

This report has been published to fill a gap left by ‘The Portas Review’, a Government-sponsored report on how to save the high street which failed to consider how digital can be used by retailers to improve the in-store customer experience and increase footfall to their stores.

There is a tendency for high street businesses to see the internet as ‘the enemy’, but businesses can make the most of web and digital technology to drive more customers into their shops and to improve the in-store experience.

Consumer habits have irreversibly changed, and digital is now a big part of the shopping process. For example:

  • 80% of UK shoppers have reserved products online for collection in stores in the past year (up from 74% in 2011).
  • 44% of UK shoppers always research purchases on the internet before buying offline. 
  • Just 4% never use the internet for product research. 
  • 43% of UK shoppers now use smartphones while on the move to compare prices and read product reviews (up from 19% last year).

Have you used your mobile to compare prices and look at product reviews while out shopping?

Like many of the businesses that are suffering in today’s depressed retail environment, Mary Portas neglected to consider how best to join up online and offline channels. We have created a report which contains recommendations aimed squarely at businesses.

Topics covered in the report include: 

  • Store finders
  • Vouchers
  • Reserve and collect
  • Mobile-optimised sites
  • Google Places for Business
  • Mobile search
  • Click to call
  • Mobile listings
  • Social media
  • Location-based apps
  • Daily deals
  • In-store wi-fi
  • QR codes
  • Barcode scanners
  • Kiosks and tablets
  • Reviews
  • Interactive mirrors
  • Pop-up shops