Retailers delivering on the multichannel experience, says latest research
Wednesday January 29 2014
Integration of store and online a top priority.New research of 239 of the UK’s largest retailers reveals that they are meeting customers’ demands for a more joined-up experience across online and in store.
According to the research, 44% of retailers now offer click and collect compared to only 21% two years ago. Click and collect not only saves customers the delivery fee, but it gets them into the store, where they will often make incremental purchases. Additionally, over 25% of retailers in all sectors offered click and collect, with an impressive 72% of the major department stores delivering it as a service, and 57% of the large retailers on the IMRG Hitwise Hot Shops list.
This year’s findings show the clear rise of retailers that are delivering a multichannel experience to customers, better integration of the in-store and online journey. This has led retailers of all kinds to introduce not only click and collect, but mobile optimised web sites, later ordering deadlines and a wider variety of delivery options.
Martin Hawkes, VP of Retail at MICROS UK, said; “Every year, this report shows what’s really happening in the retail industry and it’s clear that services and solutions bringing the store and online worlds together are taking priority. We included 200 of the largest UK retailers in our research and nearly half now offer click and collect and a quarter are offering free wi-fi to customers’ in-store. Retailers are successfully bringing web, mobile, and store together and we expect that trend to continue.”
Mirroring the click and collect trend, is the number of retailers with a mobile optimised website, which has risen to 67%. Nearly all of the larger retailers have a mobile optimised site (87%) and 80% also have a mobile application. The majority of these apps have a store locator feature and two-thirds allow customers to place orders for delivery.
In other areas, the report identified an emphasis on more dynamic delivery services, with an increase in rapid delivery options and extended order cut-off times for next-day delivery, in response to peak online trading figures.
This is reflected in 72% of retailers offering next-day delivery up from 68% last year. 42% provided the option for Saturday delivery and close to two thirds offered free delivery as a standard or if a certain amount was spent. It was also acknowledged that next-day order cut-off times are getting later; 36% of the larger retailers had a deadline after 6pm.
The stand-out trends this year include:
• Rise of retailers offering click and collect; 44% of retailers offered this, up from 32% last year, 96% of which offered the service free of charge
• More retailers having a mobile optimised website; 67% did so compared to 56% last year. Larger retailers led the way with mobile optimised websites with 87% doing so
• Order deadlines are getting later; 18% of retailers were able to accept orders after 6pm
• Customer service communication is improving; 82% of the customer service all made were answered accurately compared to 71% last year. 40% of the customer service emails were responded to on the same day of enquiry compared to only 12% last year.
Of the 239 retailers surveyed, 217 live orders were placed. This survey spanned across eleven sectors, including; fashion, department stores, grocery, footwear, childrenswear, homewares, sportswear, food and wine, electrical, health and beauty and stationery.