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Retailers fail to engage with online shoppers

12 February 2014 - 10:54 by Simon Crisp

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New figures published by KPMG, have shown that many of the UK?s biggest retail firms are not doing their best to directly engage with customers wanting to carry out safe shopping online, rather than on the high street.

While people who head to a bricks and mortar store can ask staff questions in person, the study found that fewer than 10 per cent of e-commerce users receive individual replies when they make a query online, according to the Telegraph.

One hundred and seventy retailers were analysed in the report and the authors concluded that there is a mixture of two extreme approaches to customer engagement going on in the UK.

On the one hand, companies are not responding adequately to the correspondence that consumers are sending, while at the other end of the spectrum, there are firms with spammy tactics which end up bombarding registered users with emails and offers, even if they do not want to receive them.

Sixty six per cent of consumers who have created an account to carry out safe shopping online with a retailer revealed that after the confirmation email, notifying them that they are fully registered, no further contact was made by the company.

This means that retailers are missing out on a potentially huge opportunity to present customers with relevant offers and thus encourage them to shop online more regularly, rather than seeking out competitors.

Retailers do a little better when it comes to contacting customers who added items to their e-commerce shopping basket but then did not go through with the purchase. But those firms which offer a discount when people seem to be on the verge of making a purchase, but cannot quite commit, are still in the minority.

The online shopping market is still growing and developing, with retailers having to adapt to consumer habits. So, hopefully, better engagement strategies will be adopted in the future.