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EDITORIAL How – and why – retail is refocusing on the customer experience

Spending fell year-on-year in August, says the IMRG. Image: Fotolia

In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we report as the CBI says that online sales grew in the year to July, but that retail sales across all channels were down for the third month in a row. It’s further evidence of a difficult retail environment in which retailers seem to be feeling the pressure to change. The latest retail employment figures show a continued decline in numbers that, says the BRC, reflects the ongoing transformation of the retail industry as automation increases and businesses focus further on the customer experience.

The importance of the customer experience is also flagged up in a Klarna study that suggests customers now need more than loyalty points in order to keep buying from retailers. The customer experience is now key in a highly competitive market where shoppers can so easily choose to buy elsewhere. 

With that in mind we also look back to our research findings in the European market and to how traders across the EEA are using the latest merchandising techniques in order to ensure that they present products at their best. That’s part of our summer recap on the best analysis and interviews from across InternetRetailing and RetailX research publications and white papers from the past year. We hope they provide useful summer reading at a time of year that always lends itself to reflection and to catching up on what was missed over a busy autumn and spring – before the rush starts again in September.

We also cover a Zendesk report on customer service, which flags up the omnichannel experience that shoppers also want when they have a query or problem.

Today’s guest comment comes from Colin Neil of Adyen, who looks ahead to the introduction of new payment standards and asks how retailers should prepare for them. 

Image: Fotolia

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