Globally, retail footfall showed a marginal decline of -0.7% in the final quarter of 2016. This suggests consumer confidence has remained steady in the face of the economic and political uncertainties such as policies favoured by the new US administration, forthcoming elections in France and Germany, and pending Brexit negotiations.
The world’s powerhouse manufacturing economies, China and India, both experienced a healthy increase in retail footfall over Q4, as did Hong Kong, all of which contributed to a climate of gradual steady growth within the Asia-Pacific region.
In Europe, France and Switzerland both recorded an improvement in Q4 footfall, despite overall figures for the region showing a slight decrease. The popularity of purchasing via mobile devices pushed up ecommerce sales figures through Q4 in countries such as the UK and Germany.
In response to the convenience of online shopping, retailers are adopting exciting solutions to attract customers back in-store. From the introduction of retail self-checkout to personalising the shopping experiences, new technologies being implemented by retailers across the globe could soon transform the in-store experience for today’s digitally-fluent, cross-channel customers, through 2017 and beyond.
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