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The last 12 months has seen the rise of multi-device shopping as consumers continue to use tablets and smartphones as well as laptops to hunt for everything from clothes to holidays. Research carried out by UK’s leading customer engagement technology experts, Intilery, shows that almost 20% of consumers habitually used three devices to engage with brands in 2015. In 2016, that is set to grow as Britons begin introducing a fourth device to their experience.
“This year the big Christmas presents were wearables – specifically smart watches that allow people to access texts, emails, maps and the internet through their watch,” said Gareth James, CEO of Intilery.“That means that the incredible rise of multi-device engagement is going to pick up pace as retailers and service providers realise the potential of newly adopted technology by customers.”
To analyse how consumers were using the latest smart gadgets, we carried out new research to see how customers were engaging with major brands. A specific example is the travel sector; Intilery reveals that the travel sector saw 45% of customers engaging through more than one device with 15% using three or more and 5% using four or more devices.
“The travel industry has made it easier and more customer-friendly to operate on multiple platforms and it is already reaping the benefits,” said Gareth. “It has been quick to introduce online check-in and scanning a QR code from phones or a smart watch to move into departures.” Gareth believes that in 2016 retailers, particularly those with a high street presence, need to catch up to fully develop quad-device integration or risk losing customers. “High street retailers have embraced omni-channel sales and engagement, but sometimes they have been outflanked by pure-play online brands and there is a need for them to join up the bricks-and-mortar and digital experience to make sure they are offering customers the access and personalised service across all devices.”
Glen Richardson, CMO at internet marketplace Fruugo, said it was a trend he recognised.
“This is a really interesting insight,” he said. “The travel industry has clearly led the way and we really need to see retailers come out strong on quad-device compatibility. Retail tends to trail in the digital innovation stakes and businesses cannot afford a gulf to open up between the high street and online. Technology has already changed consumer habits and we are about to face a quantum leap in the next few years. In 2016 retailers need to close the gap.”
"Interestingly, regardless of the consumer’s primary device brand, in all cases the Apple iPhone was either second or third most common device used. “My prediction is that 2016 is going to be the year of the smart watch,” said Gareth. “People are now comfortable being connected 24/7 not just to friends and family, but to the brands they love, trust and identify with, and they do it using multiple devices. As we move into a period of sustained economic growth again, the businesses who will succeed will be the ones who have an integrated presence, delivered across devices such as PC’s, tablet, smart watch and mobile as well as traditional methods like the high street. By giving consumers easy access to you and your brand, creating a seamless customer journey both on and offline, they are more likely to make purchases and become loyal customers.”
If you would like to see how Intilery could help you develop a powerful customer engagement strategy contact firstname.lastname@example.org