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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : April 01, 2015

The growing impact of online performance on sales and customer experience

Retailers in the UK are optimistic about the future of online shopping, more so as purchases via mobile continue to increase. However, retailers are also aware that the online experience needs to be improved to meet consumers' expectations and increase sales from local and international shoppers.

by Helen Leggatt

New research from Internet performance specialists Dyn reveals that UK retailers are seeing online and mobile make up increasingly larger portions of their total revenues. Three-quarters (75%) said that online sales represented at least half of their total revenue last year and a third said that figure was 75% or more. Furthermore, mobile is also contributing with a third saying that half of online sales in 2014 came from mobile purchases.

Today, more than two-thirds of retailers believe customers receive the best service online via websites, mobile or apps, while just 25% believe their best customer service is experienced in-store.

However, what most retailers are aware of is that there is a lack of consistency of experience across channels - 76% admit there is no consistency at all. The general consensus is that the online experience must be improved, particularly if retailers are to continue benefiting from the large number of consumers who are shopping across geographical borders. Globally, 70% of consumers have bought from retailers in other countries and a third of retailers said that between 25% and 50% of their sales originate from other countries. If the online experience was faster and easier, 85% of consumers said they would do more cross border shopping.

According to Dyn, when it comes to what online shopping improvements consumers want and what retailers are putting place "perception and reality are at odds". While consumers place more importance on finding what they want faster than a personalized experience, most retail IT executives are focusing on the latter.

Having said that, investment in new technologies to improve online and mobile shopping experiences does appear to be heading in the right direction. Mobile app development (68%), mobile and web traffic acceleration (58%) and geo-location capabilities (44%) are the top three areas of investment across the board.

"Online and mobile shopping is on-the-rise in the UK, providing online retailers with a tremendous opportunity to grow their revenue and global footprint - if they can meet consumer expectations," said Paul Heywood, MD EMEA, Dyn. "The research shows that perception among retailers is, in many cases, aligned with what consumers are expecting and experiencing when shopping online and on mobile devices. Perhaps the biggest challenge: most retailers don't have a clear understanding of exactly what's getting in the way of delivering the fast, easy and secure online and mobile shopping experiences that consumers have come to expect."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: retail, shopper experience, website experience

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