Facilitating footfall in the era of the cost-conscious consumer

By Rob Brown, Business Development Manager, Pro series, EMEITA at OKI Europe Ltd

The cost of living crisis in the UK is leading consumers to tighten their purse strings and is adding greater financial pressure on companies. It’s more important than ever that in the midst of rising inflation, energy bills and food prices that businesses streamline their processes to ensure extra costs aren’t passed on to the consumer.

For the retail sector, it’s an ongoing challenge to continue to provide a memorable in-store experience while ensuring that customers receive the best value for their money in testing times. The lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has also added an extra layer of pressure on retailers who are working overtime to bring footfall numbers back to pre-2020 levels.

Counting up the costs

The retail sector is heavily reliant on visual communications to entice and engage customers on new offerings and promotions to both bring them on to the shop floor and encourage them to complete a purchase. While an essential expenditure, it can often lead to unnecessary expenses.

First is the need for an effective and eye-catching designs, which typically includes hefty fees to graphic designers. Once designs are in place, retailers face a second challenge of typically being forced to print a greater number of banners or other types of signage than needed due to minimum order requirements from print suppliers. Then there’s the added cost of transporting goods to the store once ordered.

Jurisdiction over design

The first action that retailers can take is by removing the need for external design resource, and bringing these capabilities in-house. Technology can facilitate the creation of professional, high-quality and fully personalised visual communications and marketing collateral in just a few simple clicks. Not only is it more cost-effective for the retailer, but empowers employees to create designs themselves due to an intuitive and easily accessible range of templates, imagery and content.

Tackling the short-run printing challenge

The ability to access short-run printing capabilities is the crucial next step to easing the financial pressure on retail operations. By bringing the right technology in-house, retailers have the flexibility to print the exact volume of collateral needed, without any excessive wastage and ensuring greener credentials as a result. This also facilitates the ability for personalised designs to be created on-the-fly and on a range of different media, including banners, stickers and window signage.

With this technology in one place, retailers no longer need to fear lengthy turnaround times or the costs associated with goods making their way to them from third-party suppliers. Instead, they’re easy to set up and are ready for display in minutes.

Enabling flexibility

Maintaining competitive advantage in the retail sector is even more pertinent in the age of consumer hesitation as disposable incomes take a hit. To relieve the financial pressure, retailers can bring in print software and hardware that drives down their costs, which then ensures that cheaper products can be offered to customers. Additionally, it crucially allows flexibility, meaning retailers can respond quickly to changing consumer demands, social trends and any future government guidelines in a post-pandemic world.


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