Remain relevant in a competitive and mobile market

Nine in 10 e-commerce retailers adopt new technology at a rapid rate in response to a fast-changing retail market, according to a survey from SLI Systems (SLI.NZ).

With increasing competition and heightened expectations of the online experience, Australian retailers have responded by implementing changes to their e-commerce strategies. More than half (52 per cent) have optimised their site for mobile and tablet while almost half (48 per cent) have upgraded their e-commerce platform.

Blair Cassidy SLI 6 April
Blair Cassidy presents at SLI Connect in Sydney on April 6, 2016

Blair Cassidy, VP of product management at SLI Systems, said: “The results of the SLI Connect survey show how local retailers are increasingly adopting new technology and highlights how e-commerce needs to constantly adapt and evolve in order to meet changing consumer demands.”

“According to the February 2016 NAB Online Retail Sales Index, it is estimated that Australians spent $19.2 billion on online retail in the past 12 months equivalent to 6.6 per cent of traditional brick–and-mortar sales. This demonstrates the strong opportunity for online retail and the e-commerce market to grow, but also the need to support local brands to develop compelling e-commerce strategies to compete on a global scale,” Mr Cassidy said.

“During the next year, it is clear brands can capitalise further on e-commerce, with 78 per cent saying they have been able to directly attribute sales to specific online tools. In order for this to continue to happen, brands must embrace e-commerce and include it in their omni-channel approach. Here, they can continue to tap into a growing market.

According to the survey, 77 per cent believe increased expectations of the online customer experience have been the main driver of changes to the e-commerce industry during the past 12 months. Two in five of the retailers attending the conference (42 per cent) said mobile has changed the way they reach consumers.

“It is good to see more people understand the effect mobile can have on business in converting sales. It’s easy and simple for retailers to implement new mobile technology on their websites; they just need to be told how.”

Exponential possibility

Speaking to C&I Week, Mr Cassidy said exponential growth in computing capacity, combined with the take up of developments such as Virtual Reality (VR), will see dramatic changes in the way businesses interact with their customers.

“While people think the potential changes are incredible and won’t impact them, the reality is much closer than they realise. People generally overestimate the change that will happen in a short period, but over longer periods, people get it wrong. They underestimate what will happen because they always think it’s going to be incremental from what we have today.”

Asked how these developments could impact convenience stores, Mr Cassidy cited operator-free stores in Japan, where customers order a wide variety of goods from hot fries and drinks directly from small automated machines.

Mr Cassidy said he believes that such stores will “get more sosphisticated and food preparation in general is going to to change radically”.

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