In fact, half of the money shoppers spend online is now with internet-only retailers. According to recent figures from the Office for National Statistics, stores with no permanent physical presence on the high street or out of town shopping parks, such as Asos and Amazon, took nearly 50p in every £1 spent with online retailers in 2015. And in May 2016, the amount spent online accounted for 14.3 per cent of all UK retail spending.With these figures in mind and with the rapid adoption of smartphones and shopping apps, retailers can no longer consider physical stores and an online shop as separate channels if they want to compete in the market. Consequently, retailers are increasingly investing in online channels to drive growth and sales. But what are the consequences of not being properly prepared for online customers? Connected customers Today’s customers expect a seamless, delay-free experience when shopping online. They do not have the patience to wait for slow-loading websites, and even less patience for sites that are down. And every second a consumer spends waiting for a web page to load is an opportunity for them to click over to a competitor’s site. Sites that go down, or have too long of a delay, may be relegated to the “no-go” zone and never be considered again. In a study Dyn carried out, we found that nearly half of British consumers (47 per cent) are willing to wait just five seconds for a web page to load before moving on to a competitor and more than a quarter (27 per cent) said they would abandon a purchase if the website is too slow – and given the increasingly tech savvy nature of our society, these numbers are only sure to rise each year. With more and more consumers favouring the internet to the high street, providing anything less than an exceptional customer experience online will not only impact a retailer’s revenue, but also its brand reputation. The internet is, however, a volatile environment. We frequently read about outages and downtime, particularly around peak shopping days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and the rising number of DDoS attacks doesn’t help the situation either. In fact, a recent Aberdeen Research survey found that 78 per cent of enterprise CIOs report four or more internet disruptions each month. But whilst the internet is unpredictable, it is not uncontrollable. By having a well-executed technology strategy in place to monitor, control and optimise their online infrastructure, retailers will be able to deliver great customer service, regardless of time or circumstance.
Read more on the high street:
- How mobile location tracking can improve high street retail fortunes
- Bricks and mortar stores can future-proof business and avoid darkness of closure
- Omnichannel: Reversing the decline of Britain’s high streets
Conquer the online retail market with these seven basic principles.Image: Shutterstock
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