Radio Wave's Andy Mitchell on the annual Christmas fight between online shopping and the high street
Shops’ secret festive weapon
The annual fight between online shopping and the high street for Christmas customers is well underway.
It’s an annual contest in which established names fight for survival against increasing cut price offers and sales offered by the internet.
Internet shopping isn’t going to go away any time soon and so the high street has to fight back with the only thing it has... giving us a shopping experience.
We still crave to see something new, some gift idea that hadn’t occurred to us. We need to be drawn in... and we’d love to be!
Like many local people I remember the magical Christmas windows at Lewis’s in town, packed with ideas for presents all set among a visually stimulating backdrop of seasonal treats and lights. This is something the internet CAN’T do, and yet so many of our shops find it difficult to get us into the Christmas mood when really it would so easy to get a bit of a display going and entice us in.
Back in the 1970s, I used to be thrilled when my Dad asked me to do the Christmas window display at the shop. I couldn’t wait to get out the stars and the lights and the colourful backdrops. It was part of the season that we’d expect to see Christmas in full swing in the shops to get us in the mood to buy.
The internet can’t put on a big show that you can reach out and touch and marvel at in the same way as a shop window can.
Some shops have smashing displays and you can tell the owners have gone the extra mile knowing it will draw us in off the cold street.
Yet so many stores miss this trick. They shove up a few tired cardboard stars hanging from the ceiling tiles and call it Christmas. I call it lazy.
If you want the customers through the doors, let them know you’d love to have them. Make them welcome - you’d almost imagine it was nearly Christmas.
Then when you’ve got them through the door, put on a show. We need to see what you’ve got in for us to buy - make it magic.
That sort of attention to detail can put thousands in the till. Even TV store advert dragons need to know they’re loved.