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More Sales Channels Equals More Headaches for UK Retailers

Integrating multiple sales channels is getting harder for UK retailers

April 14, 2014 | Retail & Ecommerce

More than ever before, retailers in the UK must think multichannel when it comes to selling their wares. And the reality is, many of them already are. According to a March 2014 report from eDigitalResearch and Portaltech Reply, a higher percentage of UK retailers used more sales channels in 2013 than they did in 2011. In particular, 68% of respondents said they had a mobile presence in 2013, up from just 37% in 2011.

Sales Channels Used According to UK Retailers, 2011-2013 (% of respondents)

That mobile has seen such a fillip is no great surprise. Mcommerce is a big deal in the UK: A February 2014 study by TNS commissioned by Google found that 32% of the entire UK population ages 16 and up made purchases on their smartphones each month. This was more than double the proportion who did so in Germany. Having a mobile sales presence is clearly becoming increasingly important, as, of course, is having a presence across numerous other channels.

Smartphone Mcommerce Buyers in Select Countries in Europe, Feb 2014 (% of population)

But creating a coherent and well-integrated experience across these multiple channels is not so easy. The eDigitalResearch and Portaltech Reply study asked UK retailers how they felt about their current sales channels with regard to their degree of integration. In 2013, just 34% of respondents felt that their channels were well integrated, down from 48% in 2011.

UK Retailers Who Feel that Their Current Sales Channels Are Well Integrated, 2011-2013 (% of total)

Of course, with more channels comes more complexity, but retailers in the UK are struggling to keep up.



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