Did you miss last night's Ecommerce UK event, Securing Online Sales Growth in 2016? Ooh, you did? Well, fear not, we're here to share a few of the evening's key themes ...
Allow us to introduce you to ...
Before we get too carried away with the details, we'd like to introduce you to the event's panel speakers. Meet:
- Xavier Vallee, Digital Director at STA Travel
- Cathy McCabe, CIO at Jaeger
- Lucy Hirom, Acting Head of Digital Marketing at Selfridges
- Paul Giuffredi, Finance Director at Baker Ross
and Jeremy Wilson, CCO of Practicology and panel interviewer.
How will big brands be securing online sales growth in 2016?
1. Gettin' mobile
That's right. No surprises here! Mobile optimisation is key for all retailers, as traffic via mobile devices continues to grow at an astounding rate.
2. Making mobile sales APPen
Jaeger's CIO, Cathy McCabe, revealed that the mobile app is a big deal for the brand now and in 2016. But how will brands like Jaegar move beyond customers' reluctance to allow push notifications? Tip: deep linking into apps (you can thank Selfridge's Lucy Hirom for that little gem!).
3. Avoiding the 'tech bandage'
Issues such as returns continue to plague retailers; however throwing technology at the problem isn't necessarily the answer. Selfridge's Lucy Hirom suggests avoiding things like virtual fitting rooms and focusing on better content and customer service. Think accurate measurements and fit advice.
4. Driving loyalty and growth
We all know that it costs less to target existing customers than it does to go out and find brand new ones ... Retention strategies are (finally!) making a big comeback in terms of importance in 2016. Yay!
5. Embracing omni-channel - the right way
The seamless transition between online and offline channels is where it's at for customers, but when it comes to retail brands, are they keeping up? Generally speaking - kind of. As Jaegar's CIO Cathy McCabe said, there's no use in putting iPads in stores if:
- there's no strategy behind it and it's not enhancing the customer experience
- in-store staff aren't 'bought in' on it all and fully trained
What's more, this - not surprisingly - leads back to the need for a single customer view ...
6. Delighting customers
Shoppers are choosing their own retail journeys and retailers need to be able to provide a seamless 'choose your own path' experience - or risk losing them. Using feedback to understand what 'delighting customers' really means remains an important theme for 2016.
7. Getting up close and personal
Personalisation is a major area of development for the upcoming 12 months, with all speakers agreeing that being relevant and knowing your customers will do much more for you than old school mass marketing will ... With more developments available in this area, and greater expectations from audiences, embracing personalisation is not only doable - it's a must.
8. Being human
Technology is great, and sure, customers love self-serve and 'do it yourself' tech solutions, but there's still a huge demand for the personal touch. A voice on the other end of the phone is sometimes all that a customer wants when they're looking for a bit of help. And that's something that all brands need to remember ...
There you go - a roundup of the evening's key themes. Of course, much more was said, but you'll be able to catch each and every detail when our videos of the event are launched early next week. Until then ... watch this space!
Don't want to miss the next Ecommerce UK event? Head over to LinkedIn and join the group.