Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Linking Online Behaviour to Those Offline Purchases; RETAIL

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Linking Online Behaviour to Those Offline Purchases; RETAIL

Article excerpt

Byline: ARANDA RAHBARKOUHI aranda.rahbarkouhi@ncjmedia.co.uk

TECHNOLOGY is now opening doors for retailers rather than closing them, according to the general manager of one town shopping centre and a local trader.

There is now a growing army of customers, who armed with their smartphones are using technology to their advantage when shopping.

And initiatives such as Google's announcements in January are helping retailers adapt to changing consumer behaviour.

A survey of 2,000 consumers by Hammerson and Manor Walks Shopping & Leisure in Cramlington found that the Christmas shop has become an increasingly focused expedition in which consumers research gifts in advance allowing them to make last-minute trips to the shops.

Bruno Coppola, general manager of Manor Walks in Cramlington, Northumberland, said: "It's fascinating how people alter their typical shopping habits for the Christmas shop, and it looks like the British shopper has adopted a steely determination when it comes to festive gift buying.

The future of the high street is not about competing with other channels anymore - but about looking at change, as Bruno Coppola explains: "The internet has undoubtedly contributed towards this. Consumers can now be more prepared, researching online in advance, allowing them to make only one or two major trips close to Christmas.

Google is raising awareness of how people use their smartphones while in stores as well as highlighting tools, such as mapping, video chat to link online behaviour to offline buys. Despite the general decline in footfall while shoppers choose to buy from the comfort of their own homes, retailers are spending a lot of time thinking about how to grow their businesses.

Coppola added: "The impact and prominence that retailers' have put on Christmas adverts this year well and truly puts the Christmas buying season in the front of consumers' minds. …

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