With today’s consumers constantly connected via multiple devices, mobile has become a key focus for retailers in a bid to please these valuable shoppers. Otto Group launched its Mobile First initiative, aiming to grow traffic from mobile devices by 50% by 2016. Though in its infancy, mobile will remain a priority as tech-savvy consumers’ expectations of the technology increase. Fulfillment supremacy is now a competitive differentiator.
Click & collect is a key battleground, enabling multi-channel retailers to blend different channels and pure-plays to cultivate a physical presence. This year, eBay extended its instore collection partnership with UK retailer Argos. The importance of a selection of fulfilment options has also become clear. Amazon, for example, extended its Sunday delivery service to 15 more US cities. Multi-channel retailers are also reinventing their stores through innovative use of technology. Tesco has been trialling transactional kiosks, giving access to its full F+F clothing range.
Looking forward, investment will be driven into tailoring experiences around the consumer to help generate brand loyalty. Macy’s has been trialling iBeacon technology in conjunction with rewards-based app ShopKick to send customers details of relevant deals when they enter the store. The rise of alternative payment options will gather pace to further facilitate the anytime anywhere shopper. Ones to watch here will be PayPal and Alipay who are pioneering cashless payments. Similarly, Apple’s recently launched iPhone 6 has built in NFC technology to make mobile payments a real possibility. Social shopping will become more prevalent as retailers look to leverage the influential power of social media. Amazon’s tie-up with Twitter enables shoppers to add products to their baskets by tweeting a special hashtag. While Planet Retail predicts Amazon to retain its top spot this year, we expect the gap at the top to narrow as rivals such as Rakuten and eBay nip at its heels.
5. OTTO Group