Last Monday was known as cyber-Monday amongst retailers in the UK and it marks the beginning of the Christmas sales rush, but will the tough economic climate change this traditional boom time for British retailers?
In a recent article featured in Internet Retailing, the group CEO of convergent commerce provider Venda said:
“Despite the tough economic times shoppers won’t spend less this Christmas but they will spend differently. Spending this year will be more fragmented than ever: divided between the High Street, desktop shopping, mobile, tablets and social media platforms, as shoppers look to grab the best deals. Spending on December 3 will be greatest on fashion products but there will also be significant growth, compared to previous years, in both the beauty and home furnishing sectors.”
The same article talks about the success of John Lewis and their omnichannel strategy – offering the same experience however the customer chooses to shop.
This makes sense. Online retailing with companies such as Amazon has grown enormously since the nineties and traditional retailers have struggled to find a reason to maintain a vast network of high street stores, but now customers are getting more demanding and the store network is looking useful again.
In particular, customers hate deliveries arriving when they are at work, so they have to find time to go to the nearest post office to collect a missed delivery. An online retailer offering in-store collection is suddenly an attractive prospect.
It looks like this will be the first Christmas where multichannel retail becomes a significant game changer in the industry. And to work well, multichannel retail needs a great customer service function… the quality of customer care is about to become even more important for retailers who want to succeed in a world that embraces the omnichannel.
Photo by Uli Harder licensed under Creative Commons