Customer experience is retail’s No. 1 priority for 2017, with a keen focus on personalizing and optimizing the mobile experience.
That’s the key finding of the Adobe-eConsultancy study “2017 Digital Trends in Retail.” Below, we present some of the report’s most interesting results, coupled at the end with separate data from Adobe Digital Insights (ADI), which provides a fascinating snapshot of how the retail sector is digitally transforming.
1. More than half (54%) of retailers said the customer experience is their most important area of focus, way ahead of cross-channel marketing (16%), data-driven marketing (14%), mobile (11%), and programmatic buying/optimization (4%).
2. When asked about the extent to which digital permeates their marketing activities, 13% of retailers described themselves as “digital-first.” The majority are still primarily led by brick-and-mortar operations and traditional marketing activities.
3. One-third (33%) of retailers cited “targeting and personalization” among their top three tactical priorities for the year ahead, higher than for any other marketing tactic.
4. Close to half (48%) of retailers said digital “permeates most of their marketing activities,” compared with 46% for non-retail respondents.
5. Another 16% of retailers said digital permeates all of their marketing activities, recognition that marketing–almost by definition–has become digital. At the opposite end of the spectrum, a similar percentage (18%) said digital is “very much separate.”
6. Higher growth retailers recognize omnichannel: They see more growth in display, social, and email than lower growth retailers.
7. Large retailers grew by 12.6% this past holiday season, compared with 4.7% for others. Large retailers saw 37% more RPV than other firms, accounting for much of the growth. Large retailers also saw 19% higher conversion rates and 27% more items in shopping carts than others.
8. The U.K. has the most mobile spenders, with $3.80 out of every $10 coming from a mobile device.
9. Mobile accounted for 41% of retail revenues in the U.K. and 31% in the U.S. during the 2016 holiday season.
10. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of retail respondents said they “have a cross-team approach with the customer at the heart of all initiatives,” an encouragingly high percentage, though 3% lower than for non-retail respondents.
11. 61% of European retailers said they are least likely to embed a customer-focused culture (compared with 82% in North America and 79% in Asia Pacific).
12. Almost two-thirds (62%) of retail respondents said they are most likely going to increase their investments in mobile marketing in the year ahead.
13. Only 16% of retailers said digital permeates all of their marketing activities, although almost half (48%) said digital “permeates most marketing activities.”
14. According to ADI, Cyber Monday 2016 had the highest recorded e-commerce revenue ($3.45 billion).
15. ADI also found that desktop conversion is consistently higher than smartphone conversion in the U.S. (3.6% vs. 1.5% at the end of 2016). In addition, the performance gap didn’t show signs of improvement.