We may be in an era of unprecedented personalization in retail, but many brands in the U.K. are struggling to learn about their consumers. In fact, 65% of UK shoppers feel that retailers “don’t really know who they are,” according to the 2017 Connected Shopping Report from Salesforce.

A majority of U.K. shoppers (61%) feel there is a disconnect between digital channels. A brand’s mobile app, website, social media channels, and even their brick-and-mortar stores can — at any step of the customer journey — become the point where the customer makes their decision to buy. Or be the time when they abandon their purchase. So keeping the message consistent and engaging is a must.

The study also shows:

  • 77% of U.K. shoppers research products before purchasing from a physical shop
  • 84% research products before buying online
  • 23% of millennial shoppers actually buy online while they’re in the store.

Bridging the Gap

If a customer sees a Facebook ad for a jacket, they may — instead of following the ad to the site — pull up the jacket on the retailer’s mobile app, only to find the right size sold out. Perhaps they’re able to track the jacket to a physical store, but if the staff has no idea what product they’re talking about, or old inventory has already been cleared, then the customer’s frustration would be justified.

To bridge the gap, retailers need a cross-channel strategy that, in some way, touches upon every channel where shoppers interact with the brand. As evidenced by the study, brick-and-mortar stores still retain their importance in the U.K., even as customers arrive at these stores informed by research and emboldened by experiences they’ve already had online.

Cross-Channel Shopping and Personalization

An effective cross-channel shopping strategy therefore becomes a way to make the experience personal for the customer. Personalization enables customers to have a cohesive experience that makes shopping easy and engaging, no matter where they ultimately make their purchase. Frank Lombos, Curalate’s Director of Sales for EMEA, says that “understanding the consumer on a one-on-one basis is really important. Getting a 360-degree view of that individual from all commerce touchpoints is a major game-changer.”

With reports indicating such frustration among U.K. shoppers, it may seem that retailers have yet to catch up to the ever-evolving demands of their shoppers. However, a recent study by VoucherCodes found that retailers in the U.K. are beginning to adopt an approach that bridges the gap between digital channels and in-store shopping. Of the 100 senior retail executives surveyed:

  • 50% said they are moving towards cross-channel strategies
  • 48% said their brands are investing in mobile apps, and
  • 35% are bringing tablets into their stores.

How can brands UK brands learn more about their customers and make them feel empowered? User-generated content. By repurposing customer imagery from social, brands can gain followers and ultimately sell more products. Learn more with our guide 35 Ways to Turn User-Generated Content into Real Revenue.

On average, our clients achieve: 79% increases in time-on-site, 16% jumps in average order value and 31% increases in conversion rate. What can Curalate do for your business? Contact us to find out.