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EDITORIAL Mixing stores and online: DFS, Morrisons and Moss Bros on how customers want to buy

Image: Fotolia

In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we’re reflecting on what we’ve found out over the course of the week about what how customers want to use ecommerce websites alongside stores, and how they want to buy and return items.

DFS said that it finds that while 85% of customers want to research their sofa buys online – and most visits to its website now come via mobile – 90% want to come into a store and sit on a sofa before they commit to buying it. 

Matthew Henton, of Moss Bros, said that the retailer had seen conversions increase after it took its use of testing on a step – he cited the example of how shoppers who had read the reviews on a product were more likely to buy the item – yet many people did not scroll down far enough to see the reviews. An easy change then helped to boost conversion on that product page.  Jeremy Howard of Cru World Wine, meanwhile, speaking to us ahead of IRX 2019, said that he was pleasantly surprised to see that users of the wine platform were happy to use its online tutorials rather than call its contact centre to ask for help. 

Meanwhile, Morrisons is testing whether visitors to Centre Parcs want to use its delivery services, while a study from Klarna suggests that free returns are becoming a real differentiator when customers decide which ecommerce website to use. 

Today’s guest comment comes from Peter Tetlow of Ventrica, who looks ahead to how the customer experience and contact centres might change in 2019. 

We also bring in some of our European coverage, which shows Carrefour offering biometric payments in its Romanian business, and Netherlands shoppers turning online to buy food, especially via smartphones. 

A common theme running through these stories is the idea that shoppers want to use a combination of stores and online to buy, in the way that works for them. They’re happy to find information for themselves, but that information must be well-presented. But at the same time, only a store or showroom will do when it comes to testing a sofa. Retailers are, as we also see from today’s coverage, working towards delivering the service that shoppers now expect – and even exceeding their expectations at strategic points. That’s what makes this such an interesting area to cover.

Image: Fotolia

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