Research by NZ Post recently found that New Zealanders spent $3.6 billion online in 2017, with the average online shopper spending more than $2,350 annually. The report also found that local retailers’ online revenues increased by 9% – outstripping growth in “bricks and mortar” sales.*

What is the future of the traditional village centre in an increasingly digital age? How can businesses at the geographical centre of a community survive and thrive?

“I believe there are genuine opportunities for retailers who strive to deliver a fantastic customer experience,” says Greg Harford, Retail NZ’s public affairs GM.

“In the first instance, you have to make it easy for customers to find you at any time of day no matter where they are, and that means having a decent online presence.” Greg stresses that he is not necessarily advocating full e-commerce, but rather showcasing products and service, and therefore enticing customers to visit the actual store. This raises another important point. “Customers need to find your physical location as well as your digital one. Taking the necessary steps to be listed on Google Maps and Apple Maps should be every retailer’s priority; the things don’t happen automatically. ”

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(First published and permission to post by ShoreLines Magazine)