Online marketplace giant eBay has said that retailers need to embrace the use of technology in-store which can engage customers with an offline and online experience
60 per cent of Brits are shopping more thanks to convenient tablets, and with 70 per cent regularly using small tablets on-the-go there is a growing opportunity to engage consumers in new ways of shopping such as Click and Collect.
“With the rise of Click and Collect and faster delivery, more and more people are able to comfortably shop right up to the last few days before Christmas, whenever inspiration (or panic) strikes. People are doing this on the move as they fit shopping into their busy lives. In fact, tablets are the shopping device of choice this Christmas with shoppers using them for more of their Christmas spend than desktop and laptop combined,” said Tanya Lawler, VP UK Marketplaces at eBay.
eBay’s predictions for 2014 are:
The omnichannel goes truly mainstream
The retail world has long been talking about the benefits of adopting an omnichannel strategy, but will we look back on this Christmas as having been the omnichannel tipping point that drives new retailing in 2014 and beyond?
This Christmas, campaigns from major retailers are laden with hashtags and interactive digital content, pointing consumers towards in-store, online and mobile, more-so than ever. Indeed, the concept of creating a seamless consumer shopping experience across channels is much lauded as best practice in the industry and already in the past year we’ve seen some incredible changes in the way that consumers shop, from the surge in tablet and smartphone growth, to the popularity of Click & Collect.
At eBay we’re predicting that there’s going to be a Christmas catalyst and that 2014 will be the year that we see a lot of these trends converging and finally see omnichannel go mainstream.
The three key trends driving this commerce revolution in 2014 will be: connectivity, convenience and personalisation.
The arrival of universal 4G will bring with it a more immersive, instant and intimate shopping experience than ever before – putting the most exciting features of mobile retail as we know it into high definition. It has the potential to turbo-charge mobile retail spending and that means an extra £1.8bn of consumer spending up for grabs.
Shoppers want convenience, speed and choice – they want to shop anytime, anywhere, on any device. Therefore it’s crucial for retailers to think about their virtual shop window and what that looks like from a smartphone, a tablet, or a desktop. For example, many retailers are scaling up their mobile site for tablets, when in fact they really need to make their desktop site touch-screen friendly.
Convenience will form an even greater part of the shopping experience. Click & Collect has fast embedded in UK retail. According to research, 5% of online retail is already picked up away from home and this is expected to grow to 50% in 5 years.
Shoppers want cheaper and faster shipping, better returns, improved customer service, and endless selection. These may seem like the basics of digital commerce, but the bar has been set high, and it is still rising.
Finally, personalisation will play a more prominent role in the consumer buying journey as retailers become less reliant on search and find new ways to inspire and engage customers across channels.
We know that shoppers want to discover great new products. It’s what traditional retailers do every day: provide a great browsable, inspiring experience. But how does this translate online? Offline shopping has always been social and engaging, but this year an entirely new category of digital shopping has emerged. This is shopping through browsing, inspiration, and even entertainment. It is less about fulfilling a mission – a need – and more about fulfilling passion, a want or a “love”. It is about being inspired, and about the joy and serendipity that often comes from physically shopping in stores.
In 2014, we’ll see a drive towards integration of social media and peer-to-peer recommendation. Crowd-sourced shopping inspiration – such as Topshop’s partnership with Pinterest – shows the power of social in inspiring people to buy, whilst PayPal’s Check-in app allows retailers to build relationships with local customers in-store. There’s a huge opportunity for brands to capitalise on the sweet spot between utility and engagement.