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EDITORIAL How IRUK Top500 retailers are renewing their focus on the customer experience in a competitive market

Shopping is more than just shopping

In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we’re remembering how Asos digital product director Andy Berks last year said that its technology had always been in the customer’s service rather than for its own sake. Today we’re asking how that measures up against Argos’ use of augmented reality to show off Lego models via its mobile app – and we have to say that this seems a very useful feature for customers who want to see exactly what a set includes and how big it’s going to be when made. We imagine it will help Argos to take a significant amount of Lego traffic and sales, and that that’s just the point. Not only does this technology work for the customer, but it also works for the retailer keen to differentiate its own position in a competitive market. 

At the same time, we bring the story as Dixons Carphone reports that it’s going to be investing in the customer experience as it looks to revitalise its sales in the UK. This comes against the backdrop of a shrinking electronics market that Dixons forecasts for the coming year. Every point of differentiation is going to count in this market, as realises in its innovative train from Europe to China that the Chinese retailer says will both cut costs and speed up delivery times for European retailers selling via its sites, while also acting as a mobile warehouse.

It’s just such competitive times that bring forward innovative solutions and we look forward to reporting on more in the months to come.

We also report on IMRG figures that show more 14% online deliveries were made in April than a year earlier, and on Cranberry Panda figures that suggest a 26% gender pay gap in ecommerce. 

Today’s guest comment comes from Craig Summers, managing director UK at Manhattan Associates, who suggests that the search for the omnichannel is damaging the customer experience.


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