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he latest report from Shoppercentric, an independent agency specialising in shopper research, has found stores still reign supreme in a shopping experience that often spans multiple channels. The agency released fi ndings of its survey

of over 1,000 UK adults online about their shopping expectations late February, where 87% used bricks and mortar shops as part of their purchase journey. Yet 45% also owned a smartphone and 13% used them during their purchase journeys, while 7% used tablet computing devices. But expectations of good customer

service were much higher instore than online, where it was expected by 81% from store staff compared to 42% from retailer websites. This is at odds with shoppers’ biggest instore gripe, where 79% cited overcrowding as the physical channel’s biggest problem. This was followed by high prices (50%) and the time required to actually go shopping (50%).

Online sports retailer Wiggle is rolling out 360-degree spin imaging across its entire product range.

It conducted A/B tests on different product categories using imaging specialist SpinMe’s ‘360-spin’ technology, which allows consumers to view a product image from many different angles. Measured against categories with static zoom and alternative image options only, it delivered signifi cant sales uplift. “The business case for it is strong, we’re building a photographic studio onsite to refl ect the healthy increase in sales,” said Thomas Dibley, Wiggle cycle marketing manager. “360 imaging will also play a big part in our individual brand marketing plans this year, where we work with those featured on the site to enhance their retail space. “We’ll be focusing on enhancing our international operations in 2012, and the good thing about the 360 product images we create is that they are internationally understandable – they don’t need to be localised for each website,” Dibley added. The e-tailer also recently revealed it had selected a new warehouse management system (WMS) from RedPrairie to support its rapid growth.

SHOPPING IN DEMAND ACCURIST Shops also emerged as the most trusted

channel for getting expert advice (68%), followed by brand websites (52%). The least trusted route was social media, scoring just 17%, despite also being perceived as the best source of exclusives on new products among half of those questioned. Danielle Pinnington, Shoppercentric managing director, commented: “Our data shows that a huge amount of overlap between channels exists – shoppers don’t assign individual roles to individual channels. Despite each channel having different core strengths and weaknesses, going online isn’t just about researching a product or buying (cheaply) and, likewise, visiting the stores isn’t just about browsing. “Marketers should be excited about the prospect of being able to make an impact on the purchasing journey in many more ways than before. The retailer or brand that is able to use all the channels at its disposal to meet shoppers’ needs is the business that will reap the rewards.”


Accurist, manufacturer of premium- quality British watches for over 65 years, is using live chat technology platform Netop Live Guide. It offers customers visiting the

Accurist website the chance to chat live with a customer service agent regarding sales, post-purchase support or information on the latest products. Accurist now handles around 100 chats per week with the platform, saving time for customers that would otherwise be spent waiting in telephone queues. Neil Humphries, IT and web

marketing manager at Accurist, said: “We initially installed Live Guide on a pilot test basis – it has now become a key part of our customer relations strategy.”

The chat service also gives staff the ability to conduct dialogue with multiple customers at the same time. “Although functioning today as primarily a sales advisory channel, the response to live chat has been so strong that we are looking to develop it as an independent sales channel,” Humphries added. “Once rolled out, we expect to increase online sales reducing the need for more expensive telephone or email support.”


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