The UK has been placed at the top of the leader board when it comes to ecommerce according to recent reports from the Office of National Statistics. With 79% of British consumers ordering online in 2014, the UK is deemed the most successful ecommerce market in Europe. It has been predicted that a UK online shopper spends more than £6,000 a year according to a recent Tryzens study. More recently, Black Friday sales in the UK hit the £1bn mark for the first time ever.
With Denmark (78%) and Norway (77%) closely behind the UK in terms of online orders, the retailers in these countries seem to have similar qualities when it comes to making the most of online shopping techniques. In the same year, Romania (10%) and Italy (22%) showed less promising prospects by comparison.
With this contrast in mind, what can online retailers in the UK and Denmark teach their European counterparts in order to increase their sales figures?
Use technology to simplify the booking process
According to the ONS study, the reason behind the UK’s success in the ecommerce industry is not necessarily because they offer the best products. By using the right technology, retailers can optimise and streamline the online booking service across all channels to ensure an easy, stress-free shopping experience for their customers.
In fact, according to Computer Weekly, almost a quarter of UK businesses employed IT specialists in 2013 in the UK which is 20% above the EU average. With these options more readily available, British retailers are implementing online logistics tools in order to increase their online sales.
Increase product visibility with online marketplaces
With 95% of UK retailers selling their products on online marketplaces, it is clear that this method has significant benefits. By placing products on various marketplaces, this will increase the amount of potential customers who are able to view your stock. This is especially the case as shoppers usually browse on more than one website when looking to purchase a product. Also, with well-known marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay and Zalando creating mobile-friendly features, these products will be displayed in all formats so retailers will not need to worry about whether their own website is optimised for mobile or tablet devices.
Predictions for retailers in 2016
The British ecommerce market is expected to be worth £60.25 billion by the end of this year, so brands need to be both offline and online in order to maintain this revenue increase. To leverage multi-channel retailing, brands will need to direct their focus towards the most successful sales channels for their target market in both their physical stores, on the sites of distributors and on international marketplaces. The challenge, however, is to streamline the distribution and marketing strategies to make them consistent on all channels.
With mobile commerce becoming a common channel for consumers, retailers need to adapt in order to benefit from this new phenomenon. Instead of shopping from home, consumers are turning to their mobile so they can shop on the move.
According to the John Lewis ‘How we Shop, Live and Look’ retail report, m-commerce revenues have soared by 68% in 2015. It is therefore imperative that UK retailers integrate new technologies in order to gain the most product exposure internationally and help optimise the consumer shopping journey. It is also important that retailers adapt these strategies for both mobile, tablet and desktop devices to get the maximum amount of product visibility. In the end, those retailers who listen and respond to their customers will see the best result which will directly reflect their sales revenue.
By Greg Zemor, CEO at Neteven