In today’s InternetRetailing we’re reporting on the effect that changing shopping habits are having on businesses. Customers are making the most of the new convenient multichannel services that a wide range of traders now offer, and voting with their feet for the model that best works for them. One effect is that retailers no longer need the infrastructure or, indeed the business models that once worked well for them.
Ikea today says it’s closing its Coventry store in the face of that changing customer behaviour. Its shoppers in that part of the world, says Ikea, now prefer to buy online or in retail parks than in large city centre stores – and footfall and profitability are both down as a result.
And we report as new analysis from GlobalData suggests that shoppers who stopped buying with Mothercare UK in the two years before it went into administration did so for more choice and for lower prices.
Frasers Group – previously known as Sports Direct – has taken a stake in Mulberry as part of its strategy to move upmarket, perhaps signalling a belief that customers are ready for a more luxury experience.
The work retailers are doing to adapt to changing customer behaviour – and expectations – is also reflected in AO Logistics’ deal to deliver on behalf of The Cotswold Company, and as On the dot nears more than half a million evening deliveries for 22 retailer customers. Finally, Barclaycard is working with BigCommerce to integrate its payment technology into its platform.
Good customer service is growing in important, argues Rachel Smith of EKM.com, who has suggestions on how retailers can ensure their customer service is more Leona Lewis than Jedward.