London, U.K., 15th November 2017 – Amido, a vendor-agnostic technical consultancy specialising in cloud-first transformation, warns retailers that customers are loyal to brands that enable a frictionless digital experience across multiple channels – instore and online. With the arrival of some of the busiest shopping periods of the year and, on average, many retailers taking in 10% of all shopping trade on Black Friday alone1, Amido urges retailers to review all digital interfaces, applications and platforms if it is to generate long-term loyalty that is underpinned by identity.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS)2 reports 77% of people are buying goods or services online in the last 12 months. “The digital native is no longer just GenXers or Millenials. Older people are increasingly shopping online with ONS stating that 75% of adults aged between 55 and 64 do – a rise of 30% since 2008. Those aged between 25 and 34 showed marginal increases with 89% – a 17% rise since 2008,” states Alan Walsh, CEO of Amido.
Online shopping is growing and retailers have to address all ages to make the experience fluid and personal. “It is simply not enough to scale up a monolithic IT platform to cope with peaks as some services – like sign-in – need more scaling up than others. Typically, when one thing fails on this platform, everything does. Retailers must quickly adopt a platform that is agile and utilises a microservices architecture to scale up each service independently,” explains Alan Walsh, CEO of Amido. “We are seeing retailers failing with the strategy to manage these spikes in, for instance, sign-in or new customer registration, basket abandonment and online customer services because of outdated technology infrastructure.
Walsh continues: “If the retailer wants to maintain loyalty, increase sales and build customer identities, just like we did with ASOS, then it needs to review its technology immediately and stop creating data silos. It is also not enough to simply send generic marketing or ads to customers offering similar products based on individual data sets, such as previous purchase history. In fact, it is detrimental if you get repeated emails from a one-off purchase from a generic ad you once saw3.”
Amido enabled ASOS to leverage its existing technology and added a cloud solution that removed the friction associated with checkout by introducing social login across all channels, including mobile and app, stopping basket abandonment and increasing sales. The inclusion of social sign on delivered instant insight into newly acquired customers, richer information around customer registration, an up to date view of each returning customer and a single representation of any customer – no matter how they sign in to ASOS.
Alan Walsh, CEO of Amido, continues: “A joined up identity strategy improves customer experience by reducing spam. Personalisation excellence comes when you combine your CRM system with insight gained from multiple data sources (social profiles, email marketing, order or browsing history, customer services, transactional history, cookies, online journey etc.) to offer up products and services that customers want, when they want them and in the right channel. You can then apply machine learning to predict future behaviour and pre-empt what customers want before they know they want it. One technology product cannot do all this – it needs a combination to build the identity that will underpin personalisation, customer retention and loyalty.”
All About Mobile
While the main focus for the holidays will be on digital storefronts, other channels like mobile, social media and brick-and-mortar will also play a critical role in driving sales. UK and US shoppers this Black Friday have become more omni-channel, with 36% (US) and 31% (UK) consumers planning to conduct their Black Friday shopping activities both in-store and online. That’s a big jump from last year, when just 18% and 11% respectively said they would divide shopping activities between digital and physical channels4.
By 2020, some £43bn of UK e-commerce purchases – around two thirds of the total – will be made on a smartphone, as the value of mobile transactions trebles from £13.5bn in just four years5. According to Astound Commerce’s Competing For Customers During the Holidays and Beyond – which surveyed 2000 customers from the US and Europe to unveil holiday shopping habits this season – a good quality mobile app or mobile web experience will cause four in ten consumers to make a purchase from a retailer, showing how mobile is becoming an ever-more vital part of the retail process.
Social media will be a leading traffic driver to ecommerce sites, and 66% of consumers will still go to physical stores to touch and feel products before purchasing. Fifty-nine per cent of millennials have already made a purchase as a result of a social engagement in the past, compared to only 50% of total consumers surveyed. More than half of millennials (55%) will be prompted to visit a website as a result of social media, compared to 45% of total respondents6.