Figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) have revealed that online spending continued to increase to reach a new record proportion of all retailing at 18.2% in July 2018, equalling the amount spent in UK department stores.
This Indicates that, despite the doom and gloom in some parts of the retail sector, many retailers are bucking the trend and capitalising on the shift to digital channels.
However, although the rise in online spending is fantastic news for retailers, only those with highly optimised, mobile focused online stores will reap the benefits. This is according to eCommerce systems integrator Tryzens, who has urged retailers to review and update their digital capabilities if they are to secure their part of the customer wallet.
Speaking about the latest ONS report, Andy Burton, CEO of Tryzens, said that: "Retailers that have focused on honing their online offerings are clearly being rewarded for their efforts and this latest report is indicative of the fact that there has never been a better time to leverage the power of eCommerce. Despite economic conditions and market uncertainty, British consumers are still spending and are increasingly heading to digital channels to get fulfil their shopping needs. However, retailers that have neglected their digital offering will continue to miss out to their competitors who engage and provide seamless customer experiences to their customers."
Burton continued: "The key is for online retailers to start with the basics. With smartphones being the dominant access point, and mobile commerce, social media and Apps driving engagement and growth right now, many retailers are rightly designing their online experience with a mobile first approach foremost in their mind. Going beyond just responsive design to make it easier for consumers to browse, search and select and purchase. But given that the majority of online purchases will involve multiple possible channels and arrange of potential customer journeys, more is needed to succeed.
"Retailers must ensure they have a cohesive omnichannel strategy, that enables consumers to have an engaging and integrated experience whether instore, on mobile or shopping via social media one that recognises a customer as a unique individual regardless of how and where they shop, as well as a seamless view of products and inventory to maximise the opportunity for a sale.
"Retailers that enhance and continuously optimise their websites, as well as leveraging customers' data to deliver more personalised experiences to boost trading performance, will continue to outshine those that don't," he added.
"Even in testing times, making informed decisions around personalisation, mobile engagement and real-time analytics are all valid examples that are crucial to maintaining a strong performing online operation for retailers. Data-driven eCommerce strategies mean retailers can constantly assess trading performance, respond to changes in a timely manner and enhance the customer experience and overall journey with the brand. Ultimately things are looking very strong ahead, the UK is a 'tech-savvy nation of retailers' and we can play to our strengths to continue to lead in the global market that many British brands now serve because of the power of ecommerce. There has never been a better time for investment in eCommerce to drive growth and protect the business from the challenges of any potential storms on the horizon," Burton concluded.