Over the last 18 months or more, retailers have been evolving their store-based past into a digital future. Whether that means adapting the in-store offering or moving more resources online. Retail is one of the industries at the forefront of digital transformation.
The reason for the drive behind the transformation? 58% of Brits are using their smartphones to shop, an increase of 12 million or 66% compared to 2018. Our recently published research shows that more than half of the UK are using their mobile devices to complete purchases whilst on the go. In fact, one pound in every five spent with UK retailers is now online.
It’s clear that the mobile-first mindset of modern shoppers is impacting the High Street more than ever. The recent announcement from Debenhams being the latest in a line of planned store closures, combined with the fact that investors are largely withdrawing from UK shopping centres suggests that traditional retailers are struggling with increased online competition. With such change across some of the most well known High Street stores, the digital future of shopping is now.
Consumers are looking beyond price and comparison when choosing to purchase with your business. It is the journey delivered by a retailer that is shaping successful conversions and retention. It is this increased demand for mobile-first experiences that is encouraging more retailers to join the technology revolution.
However, in order to successfully transition into a digital-first strategy, retailers need to remain customer-centric. After all, the fundamental foundation of retail is customer experience, and with talk of digitising services across all industries, it can be easy to lose sight of this. Building a digital strategy around this foundation is key to success for retailers looking to capitalise on the increasing mobile market.
Optimising the customer journey through digital messaging delivers on the demand for mobile-first experiences. This is essentially what keeps your customers coming back time after time. In short, retailers need to look beyond the purchase goal and carefully consider the journey they offer their customers.
Multichannel marketing in the retail sector
The simple fact is, consumers have incredibly high expectations of service, specifically in the retail sector. The experience a store offers, whatever that may entail, needs to be accessible through channels that are convenient and mobile friendly. Streamlining all aspects of the online experience through digital channels delivers on these expectations seamlessly.
Utilising one configurable solution removes the complexities of managing multiple integrations and channels, whilst also offering customers access to your business through channels of their choice.
Crucially, your customers want to hear from businesses through these channels. In fact, 53% of customers are more likely to shop with a business that they can message directly. In order to support the mobile shopping experience, research highlights that consumers will actively seek out retailers who provide convenient and quick ways to connect and complete purchases.
The ability to directly connect with customers through In-App, Social Media Messaging, RCS, SMS and numerous other channels at key points within their journey is truly brand differentiating. The addition of these channels also helps to improve customer retention as well as encouraging engagement from existing and potential customers.
The future of online retailing
Communication is the simplest and most cost-effective way to improve customer experience. By offering convenient and direct channels that connect businesses with customers, retailers are able to deliver instant answers and gratification that are the cornerstones of m-commerce.
Creating connected and contextualised journeys through digital channels can have a dramatic impact on abandoned basket rates and customer retention. A well crafted journey can effortlessly support the collection of opted-in and segmented customer lists too.
As the mainstream launch of RCS among other channels and technologies approaches, the opportunities for retailers are exploding. Businesses are now more connected with customers than ever before, offering better service and delivering improved results.
For those who remain daunted by the potential of customer-centric communications, our multichannel specialists have a suite of configurable solutions. Each one is easy to implement and instantly enables businesses to connect with consumers across their chosen channels.