The number of searches made for UK retail items via a smartphone have leapt by over a quarter (26 percent) figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) reveal.
Searches for beauty brands were the highest (42 percent), whilst clothing also performed well with a 38 percent boost in search volumes. Whilst the increase in searches can’t be directly tied into increased sales volumes both categories also experienced higher online sales over the same period.
It is clear that consumers are increasingly including their phones in the purchasing decision journey – from research (phone searches) and order making through to customer feedback via social. Everyone knows that the average customer today is connected and the majority expect a seamless experience across all channels, no matter how or when they choose to engage. However, only a third of customers are currently satisfied by the multichannel experience offered by their favourite brands. Eighty per cent believe that retailers can do better.
The problem for retailers is not in their desire to offer a joined up customer experience – it’s in the backend legacy systems that are difficult to integrate. The solution lies in a sophisticated customer data platform (CDP) that brings together all the various retail facets including POS, CRM, e and m commerce platforms. Such a system gives retailers the confidence to treat each individual customer as an individual and really build a relationship with them – whether online, instore or through social channels or a mix of all three. Furthermore, with data protection changes coming into force in less than a year a CDP will ensure that all communication and data handling is compliant and risk free.
“Omnichannel is not a flash in the pan”
As indicated by the increase of smartphone searches, demand for greater multichannel shopping experiences is growing as technology becomes more deeply entrenched in everyday life. Retailers that fail to get it right will find diminishing returns from their customers and potentially large fines from the ICO, too.
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