Newsagents can offset the decline in the newstrade by using digital strategies in physical stores, according to speakers at News UK’s first annual News Matters summit.

“Trends and standards are constantly changing, often in unpredictable ways,” said Nick Chiarelli, partner at data-led trends agency Foresight Factory. “During the World Cup, newsagents’ footfall increased by 33% due to England’s performance, but retailers don’t want to tie their performance to the success of the football team.”

He urged retailers to catch up with trends so they can capitalise on changes. 

“Nowadays, people’s virtual connection is creating a void in their physical connections, and the need for a local human touch is on the rise – 61% of customers describe the area where they live as an important part of their identity, with 59% saying they prefer a human retailer over a robot or automated checkout system,” he said.

“Add that to the fact rules of delivery are changing fast – 43% of consumers have or are interested in a subscription for unlimited next-day deliveries, such as Amazon Prime – and people’s interest in immediacy presents a huge opportunity for local retailers.”

Ricardo Varela, founder of marketing agency Localistico, added physical retailers can also benefit from digital marketing.

“More than 85% of all retail sales in the UK are made in physical stores, and 59% of consumers research locations before going to buy something. If you are not in their search, then you don’t
exist,” he said. 

He added: “Retailers need to make sure their presence in Google Maps or Apple Maps is accurate and descriptive of everything they offer – if you have something I want but I don’t know you have it, you lose me as a client.”

Need help getting your store listed for free on Google Maps? Call 020 7689 3330