Morrisons might still be dithering over implementing a fully transactional website, but those retailers already in the 21st century will be anticipating the key trends driving digital in 2013.
Looking back, last year UK consumers were offered more choice of where and how to spend. They took this for granted, then set even higher demands for retailers - ‘twas ever thus. So how should they meet the growing expectations of shoppers in 2013?
Tapping tablets: Deloitte estimated that £500m of UK sales came directly through tablets over Christmas and that mobile played a significant role in the customer journey for an additional £3.2bn of in-store sales.
The growth of revenue from tablets and smartphones will be a defining trend in 2013. Retailers wanting to take full advantage of it will need to continue to invest in creating customised websites for different devices. A one-site-fits-all approach, which doesn’t capitalise on the richer user experience of tablet devices, will soon start to disappoint consumers.
“Organisations will need to invest even more time and money in content”
Personalisation: This year content should not just be optimised for devices - it should also be personalised to the individual.
First and foremost, this requires the intelligent use of existing customer data, but also utilising the information that consumers are making available through their social media and online profiles. Increasingly sophisticated IP geolocation services will better enable retailers to tailor offers and products.
New ways to pay: Many retailers have now rolled out contactless payments, particularly in London, and many consumers are starting to view it as a standard method of payment.
M&S followed other supermarkets in launching limited trials in Simply Food outlets last August, and Waitrose is set to introduce the technology across all its branches this spring. It will be hard for the big boys to resist deploying the technology on every till across the country.
Attribution: As the importance of online marketing grows, the ability to accurately identify the role different channels play in buying behaviour will too. Sophisticated retailers will move away from a ‘last click wins’ attribution model, to one that properly takes into the consideration the role of social media, search, affiliate and display advertising.
Content: The final priority is one of mindset, with retailers and suppliers taking the necessary journey down the road to becoming branded content companies. Organisations will need to invest even more time and resources in feeding the voracious demand for video, beautiful imagery and creative copy that really engages customers across digital platforms. Hold on to your seats!