Consumer spending in-store outstrips online; retail infrastructure improvements key to prolonged growth; maintaining physical store presence vital to online success
RETAIL Outlet and in-store investment continues to be crucial to companies across the UK after the latest Visa UK Consumer Spending Index revealed that consumption increased more in face-to-face investments than online.
Overall spending increased by 0.4 per cent in August 2018, after falling by 0.9 per cent in July, with three quarters of that growth delivered by in-store purchases.
With a previous decline in spending by consumers in shop premises, the movement towards improving online software had been invigorated, but, given the latest figures, physical stores should not be neglected, but modernised to create a more productive and convenient setting for shoppers.
Whether a soft asset or hard asset, Portman has brokered finance plans for businesses with interest rates from just 2.5 per cent.
Food and drink sales only bettered the performance of clothing and footwear transactions, with the reverse of consistent trends indicative of a plateau in online performance.
Online sales of non-food items comprised 11.6 per cent of the market previously, but with this figure now standing at 24.1 per cent, it is expected that the growth will be stymied by the need for physical interactions to boost brand awareness.
How to increase in-store and online sales without a traditional business loan
Businesses can remain proactive without sacrificing working financial capital. A business loan from a bank or other lender can mean high interest rates – usually around 6 per cent according to research by Value Penguin.
With brokers such as Portman Asset Finance, amongst others, interest rates are as low as 2.5 per cent, with tax liabilities also reduced with the asset financed acting as the collateral.
Both physical outlets and online entities need the equipment to ensure of prolonged consumer spending growth across both means of purchase.
Franchises of companies like Burger King; small SMEs like Heavenly Desserts; ecommerce retailers like Robert Goddard, have all utilised Portman Asset Finance to increase company productivity and boost results.
What retail assets can be financed?
Asset finance plans can be used for anything. Whether it be a soft asset, such as a piece of software to improve your online services, or a hard asset like a vehicle – anything can be leased, refinanced, or delivered via PCP.
For retailers — across both offline and in-store functions — development can be nurtured through new devices, software and USPs, which can be delivered seamlessly thanks to the ability of brokers to negotiate your agreement in less than three days.
Why should a company invest in a retail asset finance arrangement?
The latest technologies, products, vehicles and innovations can enjoy more relevant data streams, thus a retail business can ensure of credible, actionable and granular data that can be used to improve the offline and online consumer experience.
For retailers, having the latest self-service software; admin technology and facilities, for instance, will deliver improved productivity and knowledge streams of what people like to buy and how and why they do it.
Having access to this data ensures a retail entity can enjoy a marketing nirvana as they optimise shopping experiences and budgets for maximum ROI.
Business results have been emanating from both online and stores in a more balanced fashion, therefore, the need to prioritise investments to complement both sectors will be imperative to prolonged sales success.
Portman has delivered Retail Asset Finance solutions for 11 years, providing businesses with more than £600,000,000 worth of funding since inception, which has led to business growth for numerous companies — retail and beyond — including the aforementioned Burger King franchise.