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EDITORIAL Why putting the customer first matters – and what it means to retailers from DFS to Waitrose

Shoppers looking to buy now find online easier than a department store

Getting retail right for the customer is imperative in today’s competitive ecommerce and multichannel marketplace, and retailers are investing accordingly.

In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we report on how businesses from Waitrose and Tesco to DFS, Ted Baker and CollectPlus are doing just that.

Waitrose is testing out the hypothesis that UK shoppers are ready for the convenience that in-home – and even in-fridge – delivery could mean. We’ll be watching with interest to see if there is an appetite for this type of service, which could have resonance for retailers across the country, in a range of industries, if so. 

Tesco, meanwhile, has focused on pleasing its customers through a sustainable approach to products and sales channels: figures out this week suggest that its strategy is working and customer numbers are rising, both in its stores and online, despite the closure of Tesco Direct this summer. 

Both Ted Baker and DFS show this week how stores are key to their customers: Ted Baker says that they help to raise brand awareness that then boosts online sales, while DFS says its stores are where shoppers can ‘sit and feel’ the sofas that they sell. Both are important in a world where the essence of a product still cannot be communicated in full via a screen, and these retailers are seeing from their figures that shops remain an important part of customers’ buying journey.

And CollectPlus has moved to show that it’s responding to its customers, by doing what it believes is the right thing and sending House of Fraser parcels that shoppers had returned back to them. 

In today’s guest comment, Alastair Johnson of Nuggets explores blockchain, and what it might mean for the future of retail and, thus, ultimately, customers.

Finally, we’re previewing the InternetRetailing Conference in conversation with Phil Barnes of N Brown Group on planning for peak, and we’re previewing the latest issue of InternetRetailing Magazine, this month featuring Dixons Carphone and M&S.

Image: Fotolia

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