In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter, we’re taking a look at what’s proving successful for multichannel retailers selling in the UK market – and finding that both stores and websites remain important.
We report as Ikea UK sees its sales lift as more shoppers visit both its stores and its website. The home furnishings specialist has opened the first of what’s expected to be a number of city centre stores as part of a strategy to make its services and products more convenient across sales channels. We also have insights into how the Arcadia Group is managing personalisation across its brands.
It’s notable that Ikea is seeing sales grow as it invests both in stores and online. A lack of cash to do either was said by administrators to have caused Evans Cycles to fail this week. It was subsequently acquired by Sports Direct, which has since warned that about half of its stores will close. Both stories represent a timely reminder that creating multichannel experiences that work for demanding customers are now a must have for successful retailers. Interestingly, that’s something that Ikea achieves from just 21 well-placed stores – well below the numbers that other UK retailers have to work with. But unique products and investment into the experience on offer in those stores makes them a magnet for shoppers from miles around who are willing to travel to touch and feel for themselves products that they see in a lifestyle context within those stores.
Our peak round-up today looks at IMRG’s predictions for Black Friday and beyond, while reporting as B&Q eschews the event. Black Friday, argues IMRG, is getting longer, and influencing sales earlier in the autumn as well.
Meanwhile, we also report as Helen Bradshaw of Royal Mail discusses approaches to automation, and on European reactions to plans for an EU digital tax, which emerge in the same week as the Chancellor unveiled UK plans for a similar approach.
Today’s guest comment comes from Brett Lawrence of Inviqa, who considers how heuristic evaluation can boost online sales.