As UK business widely reports a difficult and uncertain terrain for UK highstreet and online retail, it will be those with the ability to innovate and evolve who come out on top in 2014. Here’s a run-down of what Volo thinks will be driving and trending UK online shopping this year.
It’s no secret that the emergence of smartphone technology as a convenient method of online shopping for consumers is transforming UK retail. However, secret or not, many brands are failing to embrace this trend, and as a result are falling behind.
Mobile technology will undoubtedly help to shape the 2014 retail market, but only for those who act quickly and give their customers a secure, accessible and user-friendly way of parting with their cash.
The key though, will be a strategy implemented through marketing – using multichannel to extend the scope and scale of the shop floor, and combining on and offline shop windows to offer an immersive shopping experience for your customers.
Automation and technology will help combine traditional loyalty concepts with emerging streamlined payment methods in 2014. This will encourage quicker and easier spending in a retail environment. The industry has always valued the convenience of online retail, but collectively this year, we now need to recognise the equal importance of customer experience.
Contactless payments will help to shape this landscape, with the spotlight shifting to mobile contactless technology. Cloud-based payment providers will get in on the act before long; developing apps to make payment a painless experience for both the shopper and the shop – at least at point of sale!
With the development and adoption of technology come renewed calls for advancements in security. It has been widely reported that consumer trust is low, and a balance between convenience and security will help in 2014.
Third party payment hosted services look like they will lead the way this year, with high profile organisations currently dedicated to creating the latest advancements in technology, and also a way to deliver these to retailers.
Wheeling in the experts will leave online retailers to concentrate on the two most important aspects of their business; marketing, and service.
Online retail success in 2014 will rely less on the transactional elements of shopping, and more on the customer experience. It’s a pre-requisite that online shopping takes out at least some of the hassle and inconvenience of visiting the highstreet. But the leading retailers this year will be the ones that introduce innovation and strategy to the way they communicate with, and engage with consumers.
Using data and insight generated by your marketing, you can deliver promotions, functionality and services that you know your customers want. Technology has brought supply and demand closer together, allowing you to pre-empt demand by supplying according to reliable, real-time marketing intelligence.
Creativity should feed the entire online retail experience, from the ‘front end’ marketing strategy to the ‘back end’ interface. A truly creative online retail proposition will inevitably be an innovative one. If that’s left you wondering if you went into the right industry – don’t worry, Volo can provide you with the creativity and the technology to set you up as a market leader in 2014.
Technology offers the chance to provide a truly bespoke, personal service to your customers. From initial engagement techniques to on-going keep warm strategies, you can personalise the journey for a shopper, at the click of a mouse.
Range, selection and bespoke options are the online manifestations of customer service. Our customers have benefited from being able to offer their customers more flexibility in all these areas. Our innovative products and services offer significant benefits in terms of response times, order fulfilment, logistics and payment.
Be a 2014 online retail success story
Leading UK retail brands have shown their resilience to the current economic conditions by embracing technology and multichannel strategies. John Lewis, House of Fraser and HMV are among those who have reported growth through dressing their online shop window properly.
Would you like to join them? Volo has the tools, the insight and the experience to add you to a success story that is clearly being written for those with the right vision in 2014.