Close

Choose a country

United KingdomEnglish
South AfricaEnglish
IndiaEnglish
InternationalEnglish

Why retailers must engage digitally

Blog
6th October 2017

Shopping used to be simple. You drove your car to the shopping mall or town centre, parked, visited some shops, then packed everything in the car and went home. Now retailers are creating personalised online shopping experiences and apps offering Augmented Reality functionality. Is there really a need for all this digital engagement or are retailers just getting caught up in a wave of hype?

Unfortunately for the traditionalists, I don’t think this is hype. The online shopping experience has grown to be preferred by many customers exactly because it can be more personal. When a retailer knows what you have bought in the past, and all your likes and dislikes, then they can create recommendations and offers that are laser-focused. Walking into a store can feel extremely anonymous when you have become used to online shopping.

And some technologies may create a digital transformation in their section of retail. Look at the furniture business for a good example. It is difficult to know how that attractive table and chairs in the store will really look like at home until it has been paid for and delivered. If it doesn’t work out, then bad luck. Ikea is offering an Augmented Reality app that lets customers virtually place any of their furniture in the home without even needing to visit a store.

But digital engagement is not just about innovation and personalisation. There is solid evidence showing that customers who shop in-store and also online are much more valuable to retailers than shoppers who only ever shop in-store or online. These omni-channel shoppers should be nurtured by making it easier for them to use and blend both channels.

As this Harvard Business Review research demonstrates, this may require a strategic shift in how the retailer uses their space in-store. Omni-channel shoppers generally spend 4% more in-store and 10% more online than single channel shoppers. The in-store environment may need to be redesigned to support shoppers who are also comfortable online – easy access to the loyalty scheme and personal offers or recommendations are particularly important.

Retailers have often feared the ‘showrooming’ effect where shoppers test products in-store as they gather information, then order online from the cheapest seller. In fact, many customers are actually ‘webrooming’ today – they gather information online and come into a store to make the final checks and purchase. In many areas of retail, such as car dealers, this has made a dramatic difference to the sales process. Customers often walk into car dealers today knowing exactly what they want because they have been researching their options for months.

The implication is that if you are not a digitally engaged retailer then you cannot meet the customer expectations of today. There is now a symbiotic relationship where the online experience is supporting the in-store experience and vice versa. Retail leaders will focus on their omni-channel shoppers to ensure they deliver a great experience online and in-store. Leave a comment below and let me know what you think, or get in touch on LinkedIn.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.Required fields are marked *


David Turner
Article by: David Turner

News & Insights

Recommended for you
Solution Designer
Service Provider
Technology Enabler
News
Oor Wullie’s Big Bucket Trail | Charity Week

Webhelp is delighted to sponsor Oor Wullie’s Big Bucket Trail 2019, Scotland’s first-ever national public art trail, raising vital funds for children in hospital across Scotland. Each week of the event takes on a different theme, as it is Charity Week, it’s a perfect time to look back at a past campaign for one of the trail’s charities the Glasgow Children’s Hospital and the...

Blog
How Model Office combats ‘fear of failure’ and boosts innovation

Interview: Dave Rumble As a part of their strategic Partnership with Shop Direct, Webhelp UK launched a highly innovative approach to improving customer experience through a Customer Closeness Centre (CCC) powered by Gobeyond Partners. The CCC 'Model Office' provides a platform for the...

News
Groupe Bruxelles Lambert enters into exclusive negotiations for the acquisition of the Webhelp group

GBL announces today it has entered into exclusive negotiations to acquire a majority stake in the Webhelp group, together with its co-founding shareholders, Olivier Duha and Frédéric Jousset, who would retain their role as founding executive directors, and its management team. Founded in 2000,...

Whitepaper
The Hybrid Model

As an international healthcare services organization, Direct Medica develops and implements innovative solutions to reshape the relationships between healthcare professionals, patients, industry players, hospitals and payers. For the past two years, the company has been developing a very...

Case Studies
[Fashion] Fifty Jeans – Launch your brand without cashflow problems!

...

Load more
×

Webhelp Cookies Preference Centre

Strictly Necessary Cookies
The website requires the use of cookies for essential functional requirements and these are outlined in the cookies policy.

Enhanced Functional Cookies
Some features of this website use services provided by third parties websites. These features use cookies to implement their services on this website and may collect data about your visit to help them optimize their functionality. The Webhelp cookies policy outlines the cookies used by these services.

We have links to social networking such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
These websites are third party sites. We do not place cookies on their behalf, and do not have control over the way they collect or use your data.
We encourage you to read more about their policies:
Twitter
LinkedIn
Facebook