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Retailers need to invest in mobile and online to boost revenue, industry warned

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While laptops remain the strong favourite of devices used by consumers when online shopping, smartphones are ranked second as a preferred device by 65% of shoppers and tablets by 52%.

So finds a study to be published later this quarter, which also suggests that desktop has retrenched from second place to fourth, further evidencing the move toward shop anytime, anywhere, on the move.

However, in terms of the reality of the experience that consumers face, the majority of online browsing through to purchase is still occurring on a laptop, with only 12-13% via a mobile commerce site. Although that number is bolstered by the growth of retailer specific Apps (5-6%) and the emergence of shopable content from social media sites (1-2%), many retailers also need to rely on having a good website to make sure conversions happen.

“As such the smartphone is a gateway to more shopping channels that are registering faster growth than traditional ecommerce experiences,” says Andy Burton, CEO of platform company Tryzens, which is publishing the report. “It’s hardly revolutionary that retailers who are able to offer online alternatives to bricks-and-mortar shops stand to reap the rewards of increased sales and customer satisfaction through an increased addressable market, but it is important to understand that it is not just about having a website, but optimising the online experience to adapt to the changing pressures and competing forces from advances in mobile technology to social community to payment methods and the like.”

Burton draws attention to a number of retailers who have worked to develop their online platforms and competences, with many reporting higher growth results and improved customer service.

“We have worked with a number of high street fashion retailers to develop or enhance their online platforms and they are seeing the rewards of having a strong online presence. Fashion retailer M&CO recently reported its best financial results in five years, while Avenue32 recently reported in the Sunday Times it saw its site engagement jump 55 per cent since its website went live back in March of this year. These strong figures speak volumes about how a focus on improving a customers’ eCommerce experience can dramatically and positively impact a retailer’s bottom line.

“That being said, many businesses are still falling short of the mark. Just this past month, a major fashion retailer reported a slide in revenues that analysts are already attributing to a lack of a robust online sales platform. The retailer in question is missing a key market opportunity by not accommodating increasing desires to shop online.”

Burton concluded: “Retailers across the board are seeing the difference that an agile online sales platform can have on their companies trading. Similarly, those that do not serve consumer demands for ecommerce effectively are quickly seeing how essential an adaptive internet trading platform is for strong growth in today’s market. The lesson is clear: It is essential that retailers are able to keep their finger on the pulse of what is, and is not, working online,and work with the competent providers to deliver the best experiences to their customers online. We’re incredibly proud of the work we’ve done, and the partnerships we have formed through collaboration with our clients. Through trading knowledge (sauch as TradeState), innovation, focus and common sense there is a tremendous opportunity fro retailers to grow healthily in this dynamic market.”

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