Retailers that connect the store and offline perform strongly in this Dimension
CONVENIENT CROSS-CHANNEL services plus mobile websites and apps that enable shoppers to research and buy on-the-go are the hallmarks of leading retailers in the Mobile & Cross-channel Performance Dimension. In 2018, this Dimension maps increasingly sophisticated services that bridge ever-more efficiently the gap between the store and online. While, for example, click-and-collect used to be the exception rather than the rule, now most IRUK Top500 retailers offer the service, with many of them improving on their offer. Researchers assessed the Dimension through metrics that this year also included a focus on checking stock from the mobile website, and whether retailers had started to use the emerging technology of augmented reality in their mobile app.
WHAT THE TOP500 DO
Some 62% of IRUK Top500 retailers offer collection of online orders in 2018, up from 57% in 2017. For the first time, InternetRetailing research showed that a significant minority offer relatively speedy collection, with 44% enabling next-day pick-up, and 22% same-day. Fewer (14%) offer reserve and collect, where the product does not need to be paid for on ordering. Where retailers offer collection, they do so from a median of 50 stores, they take a median of three days to fulfil the order for collection, and they charge an average of 83p for the service or a median of £0, a figure that reflects the fact that most of the Top500 do not charge for the service. Some 1% of retailers enable collection from their own lockers. Almost half (46%) enable shoppers to return their online orders to a store, and more than a quarter (26%) enable returns via a third party location, up from 24% a year earlier.
More than a third of Top500 retailers (34%) show stock visibility through their mobile website, while 58% have store finders and 20% store stock checkers. Mobile websites download in a median of 8.8s, starting to render in 2s and are visually complete in 7.2s. Average site speeds are slower than in 2017, when sites downloaded in 7.4s and were visually complete in 6.3s – although start of render stayed similar at 2.1s. Sites are probably 18% slower to render because they are 20% larger, at 2.6MB from 1.8MB in 2017.
Researchers found that more retailers have a mobile app in 2018: 46% of the IRUK Top500 have an Android app, up from 38% a year earlier, while 49% have an iOS app – up from 42% in 2017. Very few (3%) use augmented reality in their mobile app. Some 57% of iOS apps are transactional, with native shopping available in 26% (35% in 2017). Both figures are down from last year, when 64% were transactional and native shopping was offered by 35% of retailers. More mobile apps store stock checkers (23% from 18% in 2017), but fewer have store finders (42% from 48% in 2017). Slightly fewer use push notifications (52% from 54% in 2018). A smaller fraction of apps have a serious bug, at 18% in 2018 from 29% in 2017. These mobile app figures are partly due to the increase in the number of apps operated by the Top500 this year, with new apps less likely to have most features.
WHAT THE LEADERS DO
Argos and Screwfix stand out for a performance that includes offering reserve and collect alongside same-day collection. They are among the 23% of iOS apps that offer additional stock checking features. Apple is among the leaders in this Dimension, with a suite of services that include same-day collection and extra stock checking functionality. Dunelm offer same-day collection alongside reserve and collect. It is one of the 26% of Top500 retailers that offer return via drop-off at a third-party location. Sainsbury’s mobile performance includes the use of native shopping from its app, a store finder, extra stock checking and return via a third-party drop-off point. Wickes’ flexible service offers same-day collection, returns via a third party site, visibility of stock and a store finder in its mobile app.