Retailers 'falling behind on digital transformation’
Written by Peter Walker
A survey of UK retailers commissioned by PushON has revealed that 35 per cent have no business transformation strategy in place for the rise of digital technology and changing consumer habits.
Furthermore, 20 per cent of them haven’t invested anything in developing the digital side of their business in the past year either.
PushON also surveyed consumers to establish whether retailers are investing in the digital developments that their customers really want. It found that 77 per cent of respondents said they did not think the majority of retailers are doing enough to keep up with digital trends and changing consumer expectations.
The research showed that “gimmicky” technologies like augmented and virtual reality are not yet a deal breaker for consumers, which PushON suggested gives retailers time to focus on getting the basics of their digital transformation right first.
Retailers also need to be preparing for the rise of mobile commerce, according to the report, which includes improving mobile apps and optimising websites for mobile.
Between December 2008 and December 2018, internet sales increased from 5.8 per cent to 20 per cent of total retail sales in the UK, while the UK mobile commerce market is expected to double by 2022, reaching a total value of £243 billion.
Paul Kirkland, retail and hospitality director at Fujitsu UK, commented on the findings, stating that modern consumers don’t simply expect to be sold a product, they want their retail experience to give them a sense of belonging and personalisation.
“For example, by giving store colleagues more autonomy to make better business decisions, retail stores are able to enhance the customer experience – whether that’s being able to choose a bespoke store stock, ensuring that stock is available via the right channels or better using data to drive personalisation.
“It’s no surprise that the retailers who are continuing to thrive during this difficult period are the ones who are continuing to be customer obsessed and combining a digital technology strategy with putting the colleague and store expertise first,” he added.