Opinion

Westfield Stratford: one year on

One year after it opened its doors, we take a look at Westfield Stratford and the in-store digital technology offering within the centre’s stores.

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By Alastair Kean
Posted 30. 08. 2012
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With Westfield Stratford City coming up to the one year anniversary of its opening we thought we’d share some of our findings on in-store digital technology within the centre’s stores. Stratford still represents the largest combination of the best retail thinking in the UK, for both national and international retailers, and is a good place to gain a snapshot of current retail trends, especially in terms of digital activity. We made some startling discoveries.

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Of the 224 retailers we visited, over half had no digital content. Of that, close to 50%, so less than a quarter, had any form of interactive digital activity. If you thought your business was behind the curve then this will be reassuring news! But at the same time it’s worrying, as customers are demanding a more digital experience. It’s not too late, but it’s time to get digital.

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In this last year we have been talking a lot about the creation of ‘One Brand Space’, a concept which will gain momentum, where integrated and appropriate uses of technology exist within the store environment and throughout the customer’s journey. New shopping channels, specifically the internet but increasingly mobile, are chipping away at traditional retail.

The better brands have increasingly integrated their online and offline channels in one seamless offer, recognising that in the customer’s mind, retailers are monolithic, homogeneous traders who happen to have made their life easier. The integrated offer uses technology to support the sales team and the customer – to attract, inspire, inform and transact.

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