Changing trends on the high street in Ireland

Our Business Development Manager in Ireland, Mark Cox, dives into the evolving trends of the high street in Ireland.

How times have changed

A “sensory” experience is what retail shopping is about, consumer`s being able to see and touch something, the vibe in-store, all adds to the experience for a consumer. In the early 2000`s the high streets in Ireland were a place people gathered for a day out, grabbing lunch on Grafton Street, & wandering around Stephens Green was all part of the shopping experience. A coffee break in Bewley’s. Fast forward to 2015 and the new shopping experience is Amazon and Zolando, the in-store sensory experience was dropped down the list with consumers prioritising convenience over the social aspect. Retailers have had to adapt quickly and figure out how to deliver that element of hyper- convenience that today’s consumers expect. And they have had to marry that hyper convenience with an exceptional in-store experience that will get consumers back into their physical stores. That's where the latest technologies have a part to play.

 

How consumer habits have developed

Over the last two decades, the shopping experience in Ireland has undergone a slow but constant change. Although online shopping has been around for some time, it has been a steadily increasing trend. Retailers expecting and planning for an increase over a 3 to 5-year period were soon hit with a pandemic and the need to adapt to online consumer trends in a shorter timeframe.

Two key factors were the investment in online channels and the training of employees. “Post-pandemic, Irish consumers shopped online in greater numbers, with upwards of 68% more people shopping online” according to KPMG in Ireland.

The online presence is important, but consumers still prefer in-store experiences. A face-to-face interaction between the retailer and the consumer develops loyalty that cannot be achieved online. As a result of this, Irish retailers are creating modern, sleek environments for their in-store customers. Fashion trends are moving away from crowded shelves to more viewing space. Consumers are expecting seamless experiences from the moment they enter a store to the moment they leave it.

The advancements in technology have made this possible. During the last five years, payments and point of sale innovations have advanced rapidly. A large number of technology companies are investing in this area in order to facilitate this growing trend and grow along with it.

A WOW factor was created  when contactless payments were introduced. With today's technology, we can pay with our phones, watches, or even use artificial intelligence to make the payment process as seamless as possible. 

The trend of buying local has also seen some growth in Ireland, mainly because of the fear of lack of supply from across the Irish sea. As a result of Brexit, many people began looking locally since they were concerned that certain goods would become more expensive, coupled with a pandemic and supply shortages worldwide, this gave consumers good reason to start shopping locally. 

 

What KFP can provide

We are a specialist provider of IT solutions & services to the retail industry. We work with global household brands to support their retail IT infrastructure from point-of-sale installation to back-office services, which can be delivered locally in Ireland from our facility in Dublin.

As our company grows, so does our ability to support our customers on an international scale, will your business be next? Find your tailored retail IT solutions at kfpit.com. You can contact Mark via Mcox@kfpit.com or on  0877075041.