With the holidays and new year fast approaching, online retail revenues are predicted to soar this festive season.
With the holidays and new year fast approaching, online retail revenues are predicted to soar this festive season. Figures from IMRG and Capgemini suggest that online sales in December will break through the £10bn barrier for the first time.
Omnichannel presents a huge opportunity and there’s no doubt that the UK’s major retailers have invested a great deal to capitalise on the chance to engage consumers as they begin their shopping journey many miles from the store. Whether it’s an ad, a hashtag, a mobile app, or any of the growing number of channels now available to get the festive shop done, I believe this Christmas represents a coming of age for omnichannel retail.
Led by mobile, a commerce revolution is under way and how we shop is transforming at breakneck speed. Shoppers want convenience, speed and choice - they want to shop any time, anywhere, on any device and the industry is responding to this. I believe that 2013 marked a year of milestone developments, which will make up the framework for omnichannel retail in the year ahead.
Widespread availability of 4G across the country will bring with it a more immersive, instant and intimate shopping experience than ever before. It will put the most exciting features of mobile retail as we know it into high definition, with faster speeds and richer content.
Convenience will form an even greater part of the shopping experience, as click-and-collect has fast embedded in UK retail. According to IMRG, 5% of online retail is already picked up away from home and this is expected to grow to 50% in five years. As such, we expect to see the arrival of more click-and-collect offerings, like the partnership we announced with Argos.
Finally, social will play a more prominent role in the consumer buying journey and retailers are finding new ways to tap into this. Crowd-sourced shopping inspiration - such as Topshop’s partnership with Pinterest - shows the power of social in inspiring people to buy.
The boundaries between offline and online are blurring and retailers must act now and think about such retail concepts as virtual shop windows to turn this huge opportunity into an exciting reality in the new year.