Busiest online shopping day of the year is just around the corner.
Online retail expert CTS Retail has warned companies with online stores to ensure everything is in working order and that their brand message is the same across all channels ahead of Christmas, as the boom in online shopping hits its annual peak.
Scott Storey, managine director of CTS Retail said that, with the sharp rise in consumer awareness and use of e-commerce and m-commerce this year, online retailers should ensure their online shops are “absolutely seamless”.
"Customers today are increasingly demanding a joined-up experience across multiple channels and are often, using more than one channel to make their buying decision. With more emphasis being placed on convenience than previously, where the physical enjoyment of shopping on the high street was an attraction in itself, retailers need to make sure the buying process is as easy as possible," he said.
Storey has found customer service to be markedly different from the same brand via their different sales channels, such as in store, catalogue sales and via their e-commerce site, something he believes is dangerous ground for retailers wanting to capture valuable market share and retain their customers with a clear message.
However, he urged retailers not to get carried away with solutions which might meet their strategic needs, but in practice, don’t meet their customers’ expectations.
"Customers can have very limited personal time and often are buying on impulse or with a few spare minutes on their lunch break. You cannot afford to let them down or you will lose custom.
“Websites that don’t load up properly, have long registration processes linked to shopping carts and mismatches between the information given and the service delivered in-store compared to online are all potential reasons for a customer to decide to shop elsewhere.”
Brands and retailers are being told to reflect the exact messages as best as possible online, so people feel as though they are getting as close to the in-store experience as possible.