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Forget the channel, focus on the sale

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A week is a long time in e-commerce – especially in such uncertain times. It seems that the chaos that now envelopes us thanks to that vote is causing all sorts of changes of minds and hearts with several studies this week trying (and failing, as we shall see) to write down the importance of mobile.

First up Tradedoubler has put about a report that suggests that customers believe that they prefer to shop – well to actually buy – on desktop. Then a consumer survey by Signal suggests that, while people do love to use mobile in the shopping process, hardly anyone actually uses them to buy anything.

Clearly Brexit Barminess has gone to everyone’s head. To be fair, Tradedoubler’s study does actually go on to say that even though the shoppers it asked don’t think they shop on mobile, they actually do.

In the case of Signal, the multitudes of the great unwashed that it asked actually left the researchers with the impression that despite not many people actually using mobile as the point of purchase, they all think it will be in the future.

Ho hum.

But this really all misses the point of where mobile fits into today’s retailing model. Does it really matter where the sale actually takes place platform wise, so long as there is a sale? As we lurch along towards another recession and such economic uncertainty stalks the land, the sale is what matters: online, on mobile or in store.

And this is what etail today should be about: driving people to buy however and where ever they want to do it. Now is the time to finally stop thinking in terms of channels and start to use all the technology available to create a shopping experience that has one purpose: to guide the shopper to buy.

The full gamut of technologies should be used to make the journey personal and helpful. It should inform and encourage (gently) and get people buying.

Many retailers seem to be getting it too. According to the research by RetailMeNot, operator of, retailers are now very conscious of the fact that increasing their digital investment is the key to meeting customer expectations in the midst of this digital revolution.

It finds that some 73% of retailers are ramping up digital investment in an effort to increase customer satisfaction, boost customer loyalty and drive sales.

Customers want to be treated like this and they want this tech to make life better for them – all three studies in this week’s newsletter agree on that at least. In these testing times this is going to be essential to survival.

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