High Streets' retailers fear tech

Small businesses in UK's High Streets are stressing over technology, with the majority saying it poses a significant threat to their survival.

Those are the results of a new nationwide study conducted by Wordpay.

Almost two thirds (61 per cent) of businesses polled said tech is dangerous for them, while 50 per cent said it could actually get in the way of them creating a personalised experience for their customers.

Still, almost everyone (88 per cent) said understanding and embracing tech could increase their chance of survival.

“Regardless of the rapid changes technology is bringing about to the way people interact with their high streets, people still love them,” said Worldpay iStreet ambassador Tim Campbell.

“By embracing the opportunities technological advances can present and listening to customer’s needs there is still a place for the cherished brands and stores that many local residents trust and love. Being defeatist is not an option. Responding to the changes is.”

According to the research, the South of the country is most eager to embrace new technologies, while the North is more resistant to change. In the south, 95 per cent said they’re investing in new technologies, while in Scotland, more than a quarter (28 per cent) said they haven’t invested in online tech.

Midlands’ retailers don’t usually use social media, and most often don’t have a website.

“As far as retail and technology are concerned, the time for ‘wait and see’ has gone. Digital technology could unlock £18.8bn of revenue for SMEs, while reducing their costs by up to a fifth,” said Dave Hobday, UK Managing Director, Worldpay.

Image source: Shutterstock/Shutter_M