This year retailers expect a higher proportion of their revenue to come from online sales in 2017 compared to 2016. As consumers maintain their position for convenient shopping, UK retailers expect 30% of their Christmas sales to come from online channels including desktops, laptops and mobile phones. In comparison, physical stores predict 66% of festive revenue to come from brick and mortar. Additional sales growth expectations in online shopping via mobile phones is at 13%, which may be somewhat lower than expected given the convenience to shop on the go during this busy festive time.
But one thing that is clear from this new research is the importance of multi-channel retail operations. According to new Barclays research, UK retailers predict that 49% of their Christmas revenues will be multichannel in 2017. The aim of multichannel provides consumers with a holistic view of a brand of what to expect, that includes being able to return items hassle free and usually with free postage.
Multichannel retailers are able to communicate their brand effectively across all forms of channels with a seamless experience to the customer. In tough economic times, getting consumers to part with their money is difficult and as a result consumers are looking for a more meaningful brand experience. However, creating an all-round brand experience is difficult for retailers and often requires some investment. Maximising multichannel potential and turning it into sales takes strong digital expertise that often cannot be done alone with help from digital technology experts whilst also complementing traditional forms of marketing techniques.
Ian Tomlinson is founder of Cybertill
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