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Mobilising the Retail Trendsetters of Europe: A look forward to eTail Europe 2016 The ÂŁ55 billion spent in the UK through digital channels in 2015 represents a continuation of a trend that has seen digital commerce grow by an average of 10% for the past five years, with no signs of slowing. The mobile channel alone was forecast to grow by a margin of 71.8% year over year in 2015, to a valuation of ÂŁ6.61 billion, or 15% of total retail ecommerce sales in the UK for that fiscal year. The clearly observable trend is growth across all digital channels, and this creates an imperative for retailers to develop seamless multichannel experiences. On the surface level, linking the experiences of a single customer across platforms is an elegant and increasingly necessary concept. However, as retail brands actually move forward with multichannel strategies, a Gordian knot of challenges begin to emerge from behind that overarching goal. Today, brands that are succeeding in fully taking advantage of and integrating their operations with digital channels all have on thing in common- they are breaking new ground. With almost 80% of eTail Europe attendees representing brands based in the UK, the prominence of that digital market serves to ensure that some of the most innovative brands are in attendance year over year. The forward thinking nature of the conference is reflected in some of the key themes that define the 2016 agenda.

2016 sees the emergence of personalisation as the new gold standard. One of the key features of the multichannel landscape is the huge influx of data that it creates, as well as the potential applications that can be unlocked on the strength of this new wealth of information. A critical hurdle to overcome is how to break down the siloed nature of customer information from a single channel. Brands already know that their customers are not just interested in mobile versus brick and mortar or desktop purchasing, and on average they will cross from channel to channel, expecting to get a unified experience through each one. In fact, the majority of retail brands have already reacted to this reality, and have made strides to create mobile responsive sites, apps that tie in to their physical retail experiences, and generally unify the customer experience. Now the challenges that are front of mind are based around what comes next as a wealth of data pours in. Personalisation is one of the arenas where leading brands are competing for an edge. Customer data is the fundamental oil that makes this lamp burn bright, however while an app or a website might be able to learn and react to demonstrations of preference, how can you translate those actions into the same experience

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should they walk into a physical store? Brands are focused on implementing 360 degree customer views, and these are predicated on the creation of a common identifier that can track them across channels. For this reason, technologies such as geo-fencing and in-store interaction with mobile devices are being explored by cutting edge brands, which hold potential to unite digital and physical experiences by recognizing customers and their preferences. The ultimate differentiator that personalisation can bring to an experience is the sense of familiarity and convenience that customers crave. By contrast, a brand that must re-learn what their customer wants in each interaction is going to be perceived as clumsy and stuck in the past in comparison to their more adept peers.

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Infinity April 2016  

The latest edition of ‘Infinity’ our specialist digital and ecommerce and all aspects of digital commerce. Infinity is designed for both mul...

Infinity April 2016  

The latest edition of ‘Infinity’ our specialist digital and ecommerce and all aspects of digital commerce. Infinity is designed for both mul...

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