Dunelm has turned out to be a retail winner, logging profits and growth for 2019 across both store and online, thanks to a new digital platform and giving customer what they want.
Similarly, Domino’s Pizza has turned to digital to take on the new entrants in the food delivery market – Deliveroo, Uber Eats et al – looking at how to leverage the oft-overlooked display advert format. And it has added £1m in sales.
Playing more in catch up mode, M&S has extended its ‘Mobile Pay Go’ check-free experience to 39 more stores – up from an initial trial of 11 – across London and one in Manchester.
All three of these retailers are examples of just pervasive and vital digital now is to retail. In fact, all the Elite retailers in the latest issue of the RXUK Top500 out this week are digital pioneers of one stripe or another – Amazon, Argos, Dunelm, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and Next.
An extensive research report out this week from WeAreSocial and Hootsuite reveals just why this approach is so vital. It has looked at the research from a number of specialists worldwide to reveal the digital lives of consumers – and it makes sobering reading for anyone not thinking digitally about retail.
It suggests that the UK’s total ecommerce market is worth around $233bn and has grown at 11% year on year between 2018 and 2019. Ecommerce now accounts for 19% of total retail spend. Mobile has a 55% share of this.
In fact, 90% of UK internet users are shopping online and 38% of them are on mobile. Globally this figure rises to 52% on mobile.
The report examines in great detail now only consumers shopping habits, but also how they use social media, how they use digital payments and how they respond to digital advertising.
And it makes fascinating reading – as well as backing up the digital strategies being undertaken by key retailers as they fight to regain their sales in a toughing market and against stiff, new-entrant competition.
InternetRetailing and RetailX editor-in-chief Ian Jindal believes that unlike previous years, we are now seeing retailers acting on the impetus to move to omni-channel and more digital retail options following one of the most turbulent years in living memory.
“In previous years,” says Jindal, “we’ve seen a minority of top retailers work to improve their multichannel offerings, while the average retailers lagged behind. This year that seems to be changing as a majority of businesses improve their performance in ways that their customers will appreciate.”
And this we are starting to see in action – expect more to come.