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Retailers and a multichannel approach

Whether you call it e-commerce, multichannel or omnichannel all retailers are looking at their operations to try to form a seamless shopping experience. It is a challenge, involving all aspects of the business and the entire technical operation. Systems architecture must be kept flexible so that it can change and adapt over time.

Customers are used to shopping on the go, selecting their delivery and collection options, ordering and communicating at a time to suit their lifestyle.
It isn’t just the operations team but the staff need training too - on ipads, kiosks, and mobile.

The most active age group shopping on line is 25- 34 year olds. M &S have identified the most active mobile shopper as being over 45 years - so it’s a major sales channel. Debenhams have launched its mobile enabled site and have seen a huge growth in visits and new customers.

Net-à Porter is one of my favourites – especially their mobile app and they are using augmented reality. They have developed pop up window shops to encourage additional purchasing. ASOS has made good use of video showing its product waking down a catwalk.

Social media is still important – audiences are there but retailers are trying to balance their content to give the personal touch. However, it is extremely useful to get feedback about your brand.

Digital commerce is changing everything as retailers can appeal to different audiences over multiple channels that need to be integrated so that stock is kept up to date so that promises can be fulfilled.

Ultimately, though good people and good communication are critical to delivering what customers want.