Superhero Tech To Save UK Retail

81% of UK customers bought online in 2016. That’s huge. So, if the British consumer is embracing tech, then UK retailers need to make a real commitment, too.

The growth of eCommerce and increased competition makes the UK retail market a tough place to sell, according to insurance firm Euler Hermes.

But every bit of cloud computing has a silicon lining – because it’s tech that’s going to save the day.

Mobile first but pay later

More than 50% of UK site visits are now from mobile phones (Internet Retailer). True, bigger conversions are linked to bigger devices – more people seal the deal on a laptop than smartphone – but there’s not much in it. Tablet and mobile commerce account for 36% of UK etail sales – that’s a lot of sales waiting to be converted. (IMRG/Capgemini)

AI is most definitely a ‘thing’

Don’t worry; the UK High Street is not going to be littered with Arnie-style Terminators anytime soon –  blasting you away for queuing in the ‘Six Items or Less’ line when you’ve bought seven pairs of socks.

Virtual changing rooms, online shop assistants who can recall your complete purchasing history, adjustable mood-altering lighting and hot-spot locational mapping will be part of the future high street experience. The more forward-thinking retailers are already enjoying the benefits.

Two-thirds of 21 and 34-year-olds would be happy to pay via a machine instead of a person, according to a survey from WorldPay. If we’re very lucky, they’ll invent a robot which smiles as it passes you your shopping bag.

Personalization is very, very cool

Consumers want a connected, easy and personalized shopping experience. Gen X consumers are not only more open to innovation, they’re also more loyal than ‘older’ shoppers. (WorldPay)

So, well done to Boots who, from October 2017, are sending shoppers special offers on their mobile phone when they enter a store. It’s the first time a major UK high street retailer has used mobile phone location technology in this way.

With such a rich mine of data to be extracted from the company’s loyalty cards, etc. it’s a smart move from the UK’s largest chemist – and a marketer’s dream to have all that wonderful data at their fingertips.

Localising into your customer’s language is one of the simplest ways to take personalization to a higher level. Translations can help sales because research shows that 73% of customers buy more in their native language. Companies that use translations generate more sales opportunities and even increase brand loyalty.

By Ben Whittacker-Cook
Ben works in the Straker Marketing department and eats way too much pizza.


© 2018 Straker Translations