The latest IRUK Top500 Performance Dimension Report focuses on the areas of mobile and cross channel. Emma Herrod shares some of the findings.
Retail channels have multiplied in recent years. In addition to desktop and mobile websites, there’s now the ability to buy straight from social media posts, using a voice assistant and to enable smart devices to buy their own refills. Connections and intersections between the channels have improved at the same time: click and collect is now not only commonly found but also improved upon, so that some traders enable shoppers to collect and try on their item, returning it immediately if need be. Similarly, voice commerce intersects with new, fast delivery services that enable products to arrive in the moment when they’re most relevant to the customer’s needs.
In the latest IRUK Top500 Mobile & Cross-channel report, the research team examines how retailers enable their shoppers to engage with them – and how they ensure they have the information that they need to hand.
The Strategic overview sets the context, while Martin Shaw and Fernando Santos of InternetRetailing’s RetailX research division lay out their findings on how retailers perform in this area with two research-focused features. This starts with Analysing the Numbers in which they return to previously used metrics in order to assess how performance is developing around cross-channel services. The findings suggest that returns are becoming more flexible, with more retailers now able to accept orders back in a channel other than that in which it was purchased. Almost half (46%) of Top500 retailers enable shoppers to return their online orders to a store. More than a quarter (26%) enable returns via a third party location, up from 24% a year earlier.
The number of retailers with a mobile app has increased over the past year as well. In 2018, RetailX research found that almost half (49%) have iOS apps. The figure is up by seven percentage points from 2017, when 42% had them. Slightly fewer (46%) have an Android app – up by eight percentage points from 38% in 2017.
The New Research feature takes a look at what Generation Z shoppers want – and indeed expect – of the retailers that serve them, while the Emerging Practice feature takes a look at how retailers and brands might go about shaping their strategies for the Internet of Things. The report also takes a detailed look at the work of Sainsbury’s, eBay, Specsavers and M&S through a series of case studies, which is rounded out by an in-depth look at voice commerce with Paul Wilkinson of Tesco Labs. He warns: “The technology curve is rampant – if you don’t get onto this now, you’ll get left behind.”
The Mobile & Cross Channel Dimension Report flows from IRUK Top500 research, in which InternetRetailing benefitted from the valued input of its skilled Knowledge Partners. As always, InternetRetailing would like to hear what readers think, whether you have views on the metrics we’ve used, and how they could be improved, or on an innovative approach that’s working for you as a retailer – please do share your thoughts via [email protected].
Further copies of the research can be downloaded from www.internetretailing.net.