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Young consumers would rather see increased digital tech on the high street than lower prices

Around half of millennial and Gen Z want to see increased digital technology over lower prices in high street shops according to a study by Context Consulting.

The report found that 50% of under 34-year-olds would like to see digital improvements at their local corner shop, whereas only 31% said they’d prefer to see lower prices.

The report urges local retailers to urgently to update their tech if they are going continue to attract younger shoppers.

Of the 1,000 consumers that were surveyed, more than half (51%) found their local corner shop had no digital technology at all.

The most common forms of digital tech being used by local corner shops according to the report were websites with 19% having one and social media (16%). Only 15% of corner shops had self checkouts.

However, only 12% of customers said their local store had a mobile app or loyalty scheme and only 9% said they were aware of online collection ordering services.

Research found that there is a big opportunity for smaller, local retailers to upgrade their technology in order to keep enticing younger customers.

“We have invested in developing our own local delivery app. It was a significant step for us, based on the feedback that delivery was very popular with our local community. We may not have 100 drivers, but you get a better service,” small business owner Most Patel of Premier Heyside said.

“We will always know our communities better than the big brands, and we must not leave the use of customer-facing tech to them. I’d encourage everyone to seriously consider upgrading. It is important to make sure your shop is only one click away.”

Research commissioner Vodafone’s business director Nick Gliddon added: “The shift to digital during the pandemic created new opportunities for small businesses while also presenting many new challenges, especially for the convenience and local sector.

“A strong foundation of digital technology and skills is now more than a nice to have, it is crucial for small business owners who want to compete and succeed now.

“We want to ensure small business leaders have access to the right tools and guidance to confidently navigate the digital environment.

“The corner shop has been one of the most resilient outlets on the high street – we want to ensure that remains the case, and this group of entrepreneurs stays ahead of the competition.”

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