The third annual John Lewis Retail Report has discovered that a new ‘master shopper’ has emerged to take advantage of multichannel retail.
According to the report, this ‘master shopper’ has learned to combine channels and devices in order to create their own optimal shopping experience.
As the report said that using all these options creating a more flexible journey. Shopping today is less about “I need it now” and more about “I need it how, when and where I want.
The report suggests that stores are still important, but fulfil a function which, according to the report, is increasingly linked to leisure time.
John Lewis has noticed that services such as Beauty and spa treatments in its stores are getting a lot of attention.
But the growing use of mobile and multichannel services like click and collect have created a new landscape for retail in which customers switch between devices and channels – online and offline – with ease, the report said.
The proportion of traffic to the John Lewis website from mobiles increased to 60 per cent in the last twelve months and mobile revenue grew by 68 per cent.
The retailer predicts that we’re yet to reach peak usage.
Two thirds of John Lewis customers use both physical shops and online channels and the number who bought from both channels increased by 9 per cent over the past 12 months.
Almost 20 per cent of customers buying a computer have more than ten interactions during a buying journey.
An average of three of those interactions involve online research on John Lewis or on other websites.
Facebook is the most popular social channel for John Lewis, though it uses different channels for different reasons.
What all this means is that multichannel retailers like John Lewis need to realise the number of channels and influences that affect the customer’s purchase and make this process as easy as possible.
With the number of channels used by these ‘master shoppers, it becomes more important for retailers to have a presence on as many as possible.
Accenture has teamed up with Hubris to implement cross-border multichannel solutions more effectively. Accenture is now the sole global strategic partner of hybris, the world’s fastest growing commerce platform.
The unholy alliance should combine Accenture’s prowess in digital marketing, platform management and customer experience with hubris’ leading omni-channel software. The companies hope to peddle commerce solutions to enterprises in retail, manufacturing, wholesale distribution, telecommunications, media/publishing, software and gaming.
“We have seen huge growth in e-commerce in the last few years, often driven by global brands looking for complex platform solutions, but with the ability to offer local languages and market websites for customers,” said Frank Schoutissen, Vice President Channel of hubris. “Our alliance with Accenture will allow these companies to have both a technology and implementation partner that can help them meet these objectives. We are very excited about the potential this will bring to both companies and the customers we can support as a result of this.”
Anatoly Roytman, EALA managing director of digital consulting for Accenture Interactive, said Accenture can help bring the hybris’ omni-channel commerce platform to companies that have struggled to implement worldwide transaction solutions that can be tailored to local country needs.
“Our global presence can reduce the complexity and cost of transforming the consumer transaction experience across multiple geographic markets,” he added.
The agreement should enable international brands to create consistent consumer transaction experiences across multiple channels, including online, mobile and in-store, regardless of geographic location.
A pan-European retail survey commissioned by Fujitsu reveals that most retailers believe stores are still important despite the fact that online shopping is going mainstream.
Even in the age of multichannel, 65 percent of Europear retailers interviewed said they believe the importance of stores is rising rather than diminishing. However, eight out of ten believe online is the top distribution model for the future.
The survey found that the humble store will continue to serve as a hub for retail engagement with “connected” consumers. Ongoing competitive pressures and the widespread adoption of smartphones will force retailers to combine the efficiency of online, while at the same time delivering a good in-store customer experience.
It echoes the findings of a recent Google survey, which concluded smartphones are slowly starting to improve the shopper experience both at home and in actual retail stores. In other words, retailers cannot afford to ignore either component of their multichannel approach. Fujitsu’s survey also stresses the importance of a unified view of all customers across all channels, on top of technology innovations designed to deliver new multichannel solutions.
Retail managers in some countries believe the importance of stores is going up, especially in France and to some extent in Italy, which is also betting on hypermarket and supermarket models. However, German retailers believe online shopping is currently more attractive to their customers. In the UK, however, there is a greater balance across all models.
“It is clear the store remains the shopping ‘hub’ for the majority of consumers across Europe, but the store operating model is changing rapidly to meet the needs of the multichannel shopper.” said Richard Clarke, Vice-President, Global Retail at Fujitsu. “Fujitsu helps retailers to achieve this goal by simplifying their technology deployments and radically increasing agility and customer intimacy.”
Although e-taliers and m-commerce are still on the rise, the study found that traditional retailers are still convinced there is plenty of room for brick-and-mortar stores in the future of retail, no matter how connected it might be. However, service is slowly becoming a key value-add for the store, and some hybrid services such as click and collect are also emerging. Interestingly, British retailers lead the way when it comes to their confidence in traditional stores and their role as a shopping point.