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From Sainsbury’s and Wickes to Pokémon Go: experiments in multichannel retail

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At heart, and at its best, multichannel retail is a series of experiments. Retailers test approaches to see which work for them. It’s important to fail quickly when an approach isn’t right, but there are no incremental sales increases in not trying at all. Shopping – and selling – across channels is part of the disruption that digital is bringing, with often surprising results, to which experimenting is a great response. In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter, we’re looking at different ways that retailers are currently experimenting and investing as they continue to grow their multichannel businesses in times of economic uncertainty.

Wickes has found a multichannel strategy that is helping to boost sales: today we report on half-year figures from its parent company Travis Perkins.

Meanwhile Sainsbury’s is expanding its trial of grocery sales on Tmall following a successful launch.

We look ahead to new directions technology could take, inspired by Pokémon Go, in a guest analysis piece from Robert McFarlane of Head. But we also have a timely reminder to consider the downsides as well as the updates of using technology in University of Leicester research, in which criminologists see an opportunity for shoplifters in mobile scan and pay methods.

Retailers that have experimented and tested new approaches are among the leaders in the first IREU Top500 report, which names the leading multichannel traders across the 31 European countries that make up the European Economic Area, plus Switzerland.

Finally, today’s guest comment comes from Steven Ledgerwood of emarsys, who considers avenues ripe for experimentation in marketing automation.

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The IRUK Top500 2016 and the first 2016 dimension reports, the first on Brand Engagement and the second on Mobile & Cross-channel, are now available to download. Visit the IRUK Top500 section of the website to find out more.

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