Recent research into shoppers spending habits shows many still prefer to spend cold hard cash. Despite advances in technology, studies by the British Retail Consortium demonstrated that plain old fashioned cash made up over half of all transactions. Debit card use increased while credit and store card use declined. This may be welcome news for smaller and regional retailers looking for a stable cash flow. Statistics show that the vast majority of British firms are small to medium sized, accounting for some £3,000 billion worth of sales. Last month also saw the annual Local Business Week highlighting public awareness of the mutually beneficial relationship between communities and local shops.
Although there are now applications that even allow you to pay using your mobile phone, the firm message from the British Retail Consortium is that many customers prefer to stick to cash. The research looked at some 60% of all UK transactions, representing around 60% of all sales last year. 54% were conducted in cash. This did represent a small drop, however, debit card use has firmly overtaken credit cards, accounting for almost three times as many transactions. Debit cards made up 30% of transactions, compared to 11% for credit cards and store cards. With concerns that credit card charges are excessive for retailers, this can only be welcomed as good news. Local retailers are also supported by initiatives like the Local Business Week campaign, highlighting the value of using local shops and businesses. There is also plenty of free advice and support from this and other organisations dedicated to keeping regional shopping alive.
There is still a tremendous reliance on cash. Rather than feeling as though shops need to rely on more expensive ways of processing payments like credit cards, they can still count on commission free transactions. The location of a business is important too. Not everyone’s business model is going to need a shop to let in the most expensive malls with a plethora of high tech support services, for example. There may be a personalised element of service or specialisation of products that would mean an entirely different location is likely to be far more suitable. The demographics of the customer base could suggest a smaller strategically chosen location in some cases. It’s vital to work with a company who are going to talk to you to understand your exact business needs – long before suggesting their ‘best’ available shops to rent.
Source: Pearl & Coutts
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