In response to the news that High Streets experienced a 1.6 per cent decline in footfall in January, Cisco UK&I CEO Phil Smith says that the Internet of Everything can help lift retail.
Smith says that technology can reverse this downwards trend and push High Street stores into a position where it can effectively compete again with online retailers and bigger competitors.
He talks about the Internet of Everything (which includes the Internet of Things – or connected devices – as well as connected people, data and processes) and how it can benefit retail.
“The British High Street has a strong future ahead of it, but only if it takes advantage of innovative technology to drive customers back and increase their spend," he said.
"By and large, the High Street as a whole has been slow to adapt. The Internet of Everything however presents an opportunity to level the playing field and fend off competition from more agile, flexible and heavily discounted out-of-town and online competitors."
Recent Cisco research found shoppers want convenient and relevant retail experiences, and those offering digital and connected experiences could capture a 15.6 per cent profit improvement.
"Further falling profits and footfall are inevitable unless the High Street reacts with innovative solutions to provide a great shopping experience, such as pushing offers to shoppers when they are in range of their favourite shops," Smith added.
"Although reduced overheads and more space do position out-of-town and online retailers with an advantage, maximising the use of technology to meet rising shopper demands and expectations can push the high street into a position where it can effectively compete again.”