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EDITORIAL How retailers from Primark to Asda – and Meta – are improving the customer experience

Existing and new retailers are finding new ways to improve their customers' experience. Image courtesy of Meta

In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter, we’re reporting as the latest figures suggest that online grocery sales fell by 15% in the opening months of the year, compared to the same time last year. Kantar data suggests that half a million households that ordered online during the third UK lockdown are no longer doing so.

With that in mind, it’s interesting to see delivery companies and retailers taking steps to improve the customer experience for their online shoppers. We report on three ways that customer fulfilment is being improved as supermarket Asda introduces doorstep returns, delivery company DPD enables shoppers who take longer to get to the door to flag that up, and as Evri – formerly Hermes – trials sustainable fuel for HGVs.

Meanwhile, a new Juniper Research report forecasts that digital wallets will be used to spend 60% more by 2026. It says that vendors looking to benefit from this growth will need to diversify into new payment methods, such as cryptocurrencies, buy now, pay later solutions, and customer loyalty schemes.

Primark says it’s seeing a good initial response to its new non-transactional customer website, with shoppers spending twice as much time on the site as before, and visiting twice as many pages as they browse a wider range and see what’s in stock locally. The value fashion and homewares retailer sees the site as part of a digital transformation that enables it to connect its stores online with customers, tempting both existing and new customers to go in store to buy. It also has plans for more personalisation, built on the data from upcoming customer account and wishlist functionality. The retailer warns it may have to raise some prices in the light of inflation.

Meta is opening its first store, which it says gives it a way of both introducing shoppers to the metaverse that it’s building and a place to test out technology and ideas.

Today’s guest comment comes from Jamie Buckley of PDD, who considers how retailers are designing for a more sustainable future.

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