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Lack of digital know-how costing UK retailers £12bn: new study

A new study has concluded that UK retailers are missing out on £12 billion in potential sales by failing to engage consumers through digital channels.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Lack of digital know-how costing UK retailers £12bn: new study

The research from O2, conducted by retail analysts Conlumino, found that retailers are struggling to harness the technology despite the fact that digital technologies offer new opportunities for them to engage customers within and beyond the store. 

Although 46% of retailers believe that they do a good job in joining up the digital customer experience, nearly three quarters of consumers disagreed, complaining they did not have a seamless experience when they engaged with retailers through digital and traditional channels

In addition, 93% said they found some aspect of the digital shopping experience frustrating.

The report found that consumers increasingly expect a seamless on and offline experience. 56% of respondents said that digital interactions with retailers were more convenient, while only 15% would never consider use digital technology to interact with stores.

Although the study shows that retailers understood the benefits of technology, just 40% recognised that digital engagement helped drive sales. In addition, over a fifth had trouble integrating new channels like social media and apps with existing technologies and less than a third used social media tools to engage and understand their customers

O2 argues that the frustrations are causing consumers to spend less, or take their business elsewhere – resulting in a missed opportunity for retailers worth up to a potential £12 billion in lost sales.

Caroline Gorski, managing partner of O2’s retail and leisure practice said: "Digital technology offers retailers new opportunities when it comes to understanding more about consumers and engaging with them in new ways – but as this study reveals, not enough is currently being done to harness the benefits it can bring.”  

“It is critical for retailers to engage digitally with consumers within and beyond the store to secure a place on the high street of the future.

“This can include exciting in-store experiences that extend into the digital world, contextual and location-aware promotional campaigns to reward loyalty and attract new customers, and a consistent shopping experience across all channels, boosting customer satisfaction and retailers’ bottom line.”

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