Mind the gap

Mind the gap

Retailers big and small have much to learn when it comes to online performance, and even the smallest innovation in their operations could make a huge difference, writes Sally Ratcliffe.

“Only 40% of the 100 [retail] brands we surveyed with advanced automation systems were delivering abandoned cart reminders,” says Phil Draper, CMO of e-mail marketing provider Dotmailer at the launch of the firm’s Hitting the Mark report. The findings of the report highlight a gap in revenue opportunities for online transactions for 60% of brands reviewed. With advanced online user journeys, Draper pointed out that reminders are an easy resource to set up that is still overlooked by many. Brands are failing to migrate beyond the basics.

Dotmailer also finds that money-off initiatives are not necessarily relevant to the customer. Data shows that consumers in the buying cycle might be looking first for a good shipping policy, user-generated content or reviews, before they need an offer-led e-mail tempter from a brand

Top of the Dotmailer league this year is ASOS, with technology appliance giant Best Buy clicking into second, while in equal-third place were Asda, easyJet and John Lewis. The 2017 benchmark report covered small and large brands in nine sectors: clothing, jewellery and accessories, department stores, electronics, health, home, leisure, supermarket, toys, books and stationery and TV shopping. Dotmailer took a typical consumer journey by creating a buyer persona and measuring how companies reacted along the way to implicit and explicit data. Brands were scored over a six-month period on email and customer experience.

Acknowledging that size doesn’t matter when it comes to consumer engagement, Dotmailer also finds that smaller outfits, unburdened by legacy systems and lengthy processes in common with omnichannel operators, are often more agile.  The report cites online fashion apparel brand PrettyLittleThing as one-to-watch for its responsive work with the customer.

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