Summit Media

Scorecard 2018 offered some eye-opening insight into the UK’s online retail market. Pulling back the curtain on the big 50, Summit has identified who offers a great experience and service to their customers.

The numbers and insights provided by this data are enormously helpful, but what does it mean for you? And more importantly, how can you supercharge your business’s retail proposition this year and beyond?

First, a quick recap. Summit Scorecard ranks the UK’s top 50 retailers, using over 14,000 data points to answer 4 key questions across the entire Retail Value Chain:

  • eCommerce technology – How easy is it to buy from you?
  • Online marketing – How close are you to your customers?
  • Trading – How appealing are you to your customers?
  • Logistics and services – Do you delight your customers?

The resultant data is used to create a league table, ranking those who deliver the best experience. But it’s not all about looking back.

Here Summit shares its top discoveries across each of the Retail Value Chain’s pillars.

1.The multichannel journey

In recent years there has been an increase in marketing personalisation, largely led by the widespread adoption of retargeting. However, creative consistency across channels is not fully optimised, an industry challenge that is responsible for £8 billion in lost UK eCommerce sales.

Online consumers now almost unanimously expect retailers to support multichannel shopping. Channels should therefore be considered holistically and work together to maximise success. Metrics such as store visits in addition to geo tests, for example up-weighting digital activity around a specific store, can help consumers seamlessly move between the online and offline worlds. Utilising local targeting tactics to serve in-store-specific messages to nearby customers, and collecting and segmenting data from offline consumers, will help retailers to identify and appeal to customers more likely to purchase online versus offline.

2.Emerging technologies

As devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home become more prolific, the more voice command research will be a significant player in product research and, ultimately, purchase. Google has already hinted at how Home will interact with its advertising solutions and has tested integration with local inventory ads.

According to Google, 20% of all searches are voice-based, and this is predicted to rise to 50% by 2020. To win in this space, a considered semantic search approach and structured microdata are key. Think like your customer: write in the language they use, review their journeys, and ensure you answer the questions your target customers are asking about your products.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and the rise of chatbots are improving consumer experience and conversion rates and will continue to do so as they become more sophisticated. Business Insider predicts that 85% of all customer interactions will be completed with no human involvement by 2020. Within the next 2 years, every retailer should have considered how they can use AI to support their customer service proposition.

There is now a wave of companies offering automated related products and merchandising based on machine learning algorithms. Increasingly, retailers can recommend products to customers depending on where they are and what they are doing. These quick suggestions assist buying decisions with a high probability of converting into sales. Real-time analytics could therefore play a bigger role in 2018.

3.Cross-border opportunities

The eCommerce share of global retail sales is expected to double from $1.67 trillion (7.3%) in 2015, to $3.55 trillion in 2019. In a recent study, cross-border eCommerce accounts for almost 21% of that revenue, with just 12 countries making up approximately 80% of the world’s cross-border shoppers. Encouragingly for UK retailers, over 40% of these countries use English as a primary language.

Even with Brexit uncertainty, eCommerce is a growing global game that offers retailers the opportunity to maintain their online growth. With barriers to entry at an all-time low, cross-border eCommerce should be considered a low hanging fruit.

4.The continued growth of mCommerce

Wallet payment systems that allow one-touch pay and hassle-free checkouts are crucial for success, and will benefit brand loyalty through ultra-convenience. Expect mobile abandonment rates above 80% when asking for customers to fill in payment card details.

The challenge remains that mobile average order values and conversion rates are typically lower than on tablet and desktop. Marketing budgets and traffic are therefore still likely to be skewed towards the latter devices. Understanding the role of mobile as part of the full customer journey will be key to taking advantage of the mobile customer.

Hedley Aylott, CEO and co-founder of Summit will be leading the Masterclass, Maximising revenues from brands and CPGs: transforming your opportunity using insights at tcc global’s Loyalty Reimagined in Barcelona between 29th – 30th May, where he will share best practise for maximising revenues from brands through the use of customer, category and marketing insights.

You can find the full article on Summit’s website, here.

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