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Online tools necessary for success of high street shopping centres

02 May 2012 - 09:53 by Graham Miller

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With more and more people turning to safe shopping online in order to purchase everything from groceries and videogames to household appliances and cars, the UK's high streets have had to adapt to the shifting market.

This has left many companies teetering on the brink of collapse and pushed several major brands out of the picture altogether.

However, it is becoming clear that the best way to counter the threat posed by e-commerce is to actually embrace the facilities that it offers and use the web to help drive foot traffic to high street shopping centres, so that neither online nor offline stores need to suffer.

The Manchester Evening News reports that major outlets like the Trafford Centre and the Arndale Centre, both of which deal with hundreds of thousands of people annually, are amongst the forward-thinking retail spaces that have embraced the potential of online advertising, to stay strong in otherwise tumultuous times for the high street.

Promoting a bricks and mortar shopping centre online is not a particularly revolutionary idea on the surface, but it is one which many organisations overlook.

Meanwhile, e-commerce evangelists regularly report on the fact that it is necessary to combine the best bits of safe shopping online with the immediacy of the high street, since a multichannel approach will allow the two worlds to co-exist without one obliterating the other.

The web can be used not only to market real-world shops and allow consumers to order products to be collected. It is also the perfect place for people to get information about shopping centres and outlets, allowing them to lubricate the process of actually visiting them.

While the high street is morphing and adapting to the shakeup caused by the rise of e-commerce, it seems that the two must be seen as mutually beneficial, to avoid unnecessary friction.