As regular readers of the blog will know we have a keen interest in omnichannel retail and like to keep abreast of developments in this area so this week we were very excited to see an article in Retail Week where industry expert Bob Willet declared that the UK are the world leaders in omnichannel retail:
As the former chief executive of Bestbuy, Retail Week described Bob Willett as an ‘industry veteran’ who spends a great deal of time abroad where he says he has seen increasing amounts of foreign retailers looking to the UK for inspiration (maybe they’re reading our blog!)
“There is more good thinking going on here now around omnichannel than anywhere else in the world – Target, Walgreens – they’re all asking what the guys are doing over here, and they’re coming over. We’re making some great progress.” Says Willett, suggesting that the US usually gets the credit for innovation but that actually all of the best omnichannel ideas are originating in the UK. However, there is some room for improvement – particularly when it comes to data analysis:
“We know more about customers than ever, but we’re not using that information terribly well, to provide the people that face the customers every day with the information to satisfy the consumer,”
Stores need to use the information they have gathered about users, via omnichannel to improve the customer experience – in the same way that Apple have improved their user experience by focusing on and understanding their users:
“You know more about consumer and how they behave online than when they walk into your store…stores need to reinvent themselves, but using technology politely and transparently.
“Those who have amalgamated the omnichannel and the store channel are doing particularly well – John Lewis stands out. They have a very small number of stores, but are making a huge impact across multiple segments. You don’t see many people doing what they do, but they do it genuinely. They operate and provide genuine customer experience.
“Retailers are really waking up to the issue of added value and experience, and the experience doesn’t just end at the door.”