Online retail sales emerge from December gloom, data shows

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BRC: Hitwise Digital Retail Insight report figures out last evening reveal that online retail visits in January grew by 1.8 per cent following the shockingly slow Christmas period. December online retail visits hit a 10 year low, declining by 0.6 per cent.

The UK retail industry is facing increasing challenges. Capgemini and IMRG predict that online retail growth will fall to nine per cent year-on-year in 2019. Successful customer retention has become an even more pressing need for retailers, as research uncovered that boosting customer retention rates by 5 per cent can lead to an increase of between 25-90 per cent in profit.

Roni Cohen, director of data science at Optimove, comments:  “Many companies focus on acquiring customers, but only 40 per cent of companies focus on keeping those customers. It’s vital that retailers start viewing the customer experience as the most important and critical aspect of their success. In light of increasing competition and falling sales, customer loyalty is much harder to earn.  Online shopping has given the modern consumer the convenience and ease of use that they desire, particularly during busy periods. However, the best way to retain this customer base is to tap into personalisation, making the most of customer data to tailor the customer experience for each individual.”

“One-time buyers still make up 63% of transactions made online, so there is still a large swathe of market to seize. Retailers must provide their customers real value and communicate in an emotionally intelligent way – this can be achieved by moving away from general demographic assumptions and towards segmentation based on customer behaviour analysis.” 

“Tapping into AI and machine learning enables businesses to build effective campaigns and strategies that will target customers at the right time, through the right channel and with the right offer for a fully personalised experience.”