Retailers plough resources into enhancing e-commerce experiences
26 July 2017 - 14:47 by Graham Miller
A new study suggests that British retailers are putting more effort into offering excellent sites for safe shopping online to their customers, at the expense of leaving the in-store experience in a less robust state.
The Qmatic survey found that 50 per cent of major firms are currently investing more in e-commerce improvements than they are on their bricks and mortar outlets.
More than two thirds of those questioned said that customers were more likely to have a good experience if they shopped online, with almost half confirming that they have not yet mastered a way of creating consistent experiences across all platforms.
Interestingly, it was also revealed that 60 per cent of firms that already have a high street presence are eager to see their real world stores become a more influential asset going forwards. So there is a disparity between expectations and the realities of investment at the moment.
The results of this report should be unsurprising given that safe shopping online is growing at a rate that far eclipses any sales increases seen on the high street. Retailers are rushing to meet the demand for engaging e-commerce experiences, even if this means taking their eye off the ball at bricks and mortar stores.
The problem of underwhelming high street shopping experiences is being exacerbated by the rise of smart devices, since it is to be expected that most consumers visiting stores will have a mobile with internet access available at all times. This not only facilitates fast price comparison, but also means that shoppers often expect a wealth of digital experiences to be integrated with the store itself.
From QR codes and NFC payments to augmented reality and more, there are many ways for retailers to court consumers today. But for the time being, online will remain the priority.