In the last decade, mobile technology has transformed our lives - and now we are seeing it transform the retail landscape.
Individuals now ‘live online’, with an increase in smartphone ownership and improvements to connectivity seeing the average UK adult spend nearly 9 hours a day on media and communication – more time than they spend asleep. The retail industry has had to cope with huge shifts in consumer behaviour, with the IMRG estimating 57% of searches are now carried out on a mobile device, and 1 mobile transaction is now carried out for every 4 in-store sales.
It’s not just a case of making sure you have a mobile-friendly online store-front, though; the entire customer journey has become more complex. A recent study of 46,000 shoppers by the HBR showed 73% of customers were ‘omnichannel’ consumers, using a combination of online-only tools, in-store digital tools and traditional in-store services for pickup or delivery. This is now the norm and what customers expect from their preferred retailer. When we add the rise of new marketing channels such as influencer marketing, review and recommendation and apps such as Snapchat, we can see retailers drowning in data but unable to create a clear picture of how the customer behaves and what activities are proving to be most effective. At the same time, with GDPR looming and data breaches becoming more frequent and more sophisticated, organisations are under pressure to audit and secure these large volumes of data to protect the consumer and ensure compliance with trading legislation.
Fortunately, there are solutions to these issues. Intelligent, robust data modelling and machine learning can help build a realistic picture of customer activity, identifying those who are most engaged and allowing you to offer them personalised recommendations through the channels they prefer. Not only does this improve their experience, deepening their engagement with your brand, but such retail data analytics also help drive more sales over a long-term period, thus raising lifetime value. Meanwhile, better attribution models can help measure the uptake and effectiveness of promotional activity and omnichannel experiences, helping to focus activity on what’s really working.
This month’s roundup includes some real-world examples and discussion of the ways technology can influence and assist multi-channel retailers in the face of these challenges:
- Asos on being a digital first brand and customer data
- VIDEO: The importance of single customer view
- Online retailer Joe Browns makes the jump to omichannel with its first online store
- Blog: How to understand the requirements of Modern Retail Analytics
- Coeo works to assist multi-channel retailer Fat Face