High Streets Initiative · 20 August 2018

71% of shoppers use their phones IN-STORES. This and 4 other UK retail trends of 2018 revealed

Know your customer. UK retail trends for 2018 revealed
71% of shoppers use their mobile devices in-stores. Is your website or app ready for that?
A surprising two in three British shoppers feel like retailers don’t know them or understand their needs. While the old adage that the customer is king may still ring true for retailers, those who make it through the thin trading months tend to understand the nuances of today’s changing retail landscape. It’s not about thinking of the customer as king but thinking of them as individuals with very personal needs and preferences.

This according to a new report from Salesforce that looks at the concept of?shopper-first retailing.

Here are the biggest trends you need to know about today.

Marketplaces are more appealing to shoppers than direct retailers

you’re making a purchase through a brand, retailer, or marketplace. If the price is the same everywhere, why do you choose each channel This question was posed to 6, 000 consumers worldwide as part of this research. While consumers still prefer retailers for their strong customer service, marketplaces and brands beat retailers in every other consumer preference category.

Marketplaces received top scores when it comes to price, product variety, product availability, and inspiration.Brands win shoppers’ preference when it comes to product quality, innovation, and uniqueness. Retailers must lean into their service strengths by modernising tactics through emerging tools like video chat or always-on chatbots. They should also aim to improve shoppers? perception of product quality and availability.

Marketplaces are winning the second purchase and shopper loyalty

Growing loyalty and sustaining a long-term shopper relationship (and revenue stream) is the goal of every retailer and brand. Researchers asked consumers, Imagine you want to buy something you’ve never bought before. Where are you most likely to go Between the choice of retailers, brands, and marketplaces like Amazon, consumers said they made 50% of first-time purchases from retailers, followed by marketplaces (31%) and brands themselves (19%).

When it comes to repeating purchases, here’s where the story changes. 47% of repeat purchases made on marketplaces, followed by retailers (34%) and brands (20%).

The second purchase is today’s battleground. Agility, loyalty, and personalisation are imperative for retailers and brands to differentiate and win the second purchase. Unforgettable experiences and products can’t be commoditised.

Shoppers use mobile in-stores at an unprecedented rate but mobile store experiences lag behind

The brick-and-mortar store is far from pass?:£46% of shoppers still prefer to buy in a physical store, vs. 35% for laptops, and 18% for mobile phones.

Additionally, 71% of shoppers say they’re now using their mobile devices in-stores (83% for shoppers aged 18 to 44) up from 62% in 2017.’shopper activities while using mobile in-stores are diverse, from purchasing to reading reviews.

At the same time, in the report’s mystery shopping study, which held in-person assessments in 70 stores in London, New York and San Francisco, the average mobile score across all stores was just 1.74 out of 5.With a few exceptions, the stores they studied severely lacked mobile call to action (which encourages users to actually check out their items), apps with relevant omnichannel functionalities, and mobile personalisation.

Shoppers prefer retailers that can move at their speed

Fast fashion only tells part of the story. The Salesforce research found that meeting shoppers? expectations is now about fast retail offering shopping journeys, transactions, and experiences that move at the speed of the shopper:£69% of consumers say it’s important or very important to see new merchandise each time they visit a store or shopping site.

Additionally, three in four consumers’ site search queries are brand new each month, showing just how fast consumers are discovering new product types, brands, and features.


 
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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.

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