The UK high street is under pressure. In recent years, we have seen a rise in business rates, a decline in real wages, and an increase in online shopping. This has put many high-street businesses under financial strain. However, there are ways in which technology and digitization can help. In this blog post, we will explore some of the challenges facing the UK high street and how technology can be used to overcome them.
3 Main Challenges Facing UK High Streets:
1. Rising business rates
One of the biggest challenges facing UK high streets is rising business rates. Business rates are a tax on commercial properties that are calculated based on the rental value of the property. They are paid by the business owner, not the tenants. In England, many businesses will face new business rate bills by April 1, 2023, as a result of new property valuations, which may result in higher business rates for some. This is putting many businesses under a financial strain, as they are already struggling to make ends meet in the current economic climate. Business rates are a major contributing factor to the closure of many high-street businesses.
2. A decline in real wages
Another challenge facing UK high streets is a decline in real wages. Real wages have been stagnating for several years now, while the cost of living has continued to rise. This is causing people to tighten their belts and cut back on spending, which is bad news for businesses that rely on consumer spending. A recent survey found that 54% of people said they were cutting back on spending due to the stagnant economy.
3. The rise of online shopping
A third challenge facing UK high streets is the rise of online shopping. In recent years, there has been a sharp increase in the number of people shopping online. This is due to the convenience and ease of being able to shop from home with just a few clicks of a mouse. Online retailers do not have to pay business rates or rent, so they can sell their products at a lower price than brick-and-mortar stores. This makes it difficult for high-street businesses to compete with online retailers.
How technology can help:
Despite these challenges, there are ways in which technology can help UK high streets thrive. One way is by helping businesses cut costs through energy efficiency measures such as LED lighting and solar panels. At this time we believe the UK government should be making a stand in supporting green energy projects for businesses and insulting buildings to help balance costs.
Technology can also help businesses attract footfall through digital marketing campaigns and social media outreach. Finally, technology can help businesses improve their customer service through contactless payments and click-and-collect services.
The UK high street is under pressure from rising business rates, a decline in real wages, and the rise of online shopping. However, there are ways in which technology can help businesses overcome these challenges. Through energy efficiency measures, digital marketing campaigns, social media outreach, and improved customer service, technology can help UK high streets thrive.