New data collected from an omnichannel marketing automation platform, dotdigital, reveals the UK leads the way in omnichannel marketing, as 31 percent is scored by UK retailers against key success market, compared to the global benchmark of just 18 percent.

Despite these advances, retailers and brands are still missing out on opportunities to optimise their ecommerce operations, meaning they could be missing out on revenue.

The research published in the Hitting the Mark report benchmarks the digital marketing tactics adopted by 100 ecommerce brands worldwide, shows that while UK brands are making headway tapping into customers’ demands for easily accessible communication, they are missing the mark when it comes to the basics.

The retailers could be missing out on sales at a time when demand for ecommerce is blooming. The disruption caused by Covid-19 has accelerated the uptake of ecommerce globally, with ecommerce sales predicted to increase by up to 40 percent across all retail in the UK in 2020.

Customer data is the oil that fuels excellent customer experience (CX) online, with demand for personalisation in digital shopping journeys rising 123 percent in the last 6 months. However, more than two years on from the introduction of GDPR regulations, only 37 percent of UK brands had clear consent criteria – running the risk of encountering serious legal issues.

With cart abandonment rates averaging 70 percent across the ecommerce industry, inspiring shoppers to follow through with their purchases is more challenging than ever. Despite this, only 40 perceb of UK brands surveyed sent an abandoned cart email even though this key revenue-generating automation should be a central part of every brand’s strategy. The UK figure is 20 percent lower than ecommerce businesses in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, which sent the most cart recovery emails globally.

Matchesfashion.com, which was ranked the top brand globally in the report, set the bar for abandoned cart communication sending a personalised, concise cart recovery email within 30 minutes of the purchase being paused. Boohoo.com is also commended for its efforts in utilising abandoned cart emails as a selling opportunity and giving shoppers a reason to return.

Whilst the UK lockdown has seen a shift back to desktop sales, it is predicted in the long-term that mobile traffic and transactions in the UK will continue to grow at a rate of 16 percent annually and will eventually overtake desktop sales by 2023. Set to capitalise on this shift, UK retailers topped the poll when it came to communicating with customers via SMS, with 40 percent of UK retailers utilising this channel to communicate with shoppers on the go.

In spite of the high uptake in m-commerce, UK retailers are still not utilising the full potential of this channel with 95 percent of messages being transactional and just one brand sending a promotional SMS message.  Younger brands targeting the millennial generation, who demand brands be available on the channels they want, are leading the SMS charge. The report highlights both Gymshark and boohoo.com as clear winners in this category, both having experienced unprecedented growth because they’re successfully meeting these demands.

Mark Jervis, Marketing Director at dotdigital said: “It’s great to see iconic British retailers leading the way in improving customer experience. However, UK brands aren’t committing wholeheartedly to a customer-centric strategy. The ultimate customer experience – the one that delights shoppers and drives sales – is created when brands combine customer data with omnichannel journeys and user experiences.”

“UK brands are working hard to gain customer confidence and acquire data, but they’re stumbling at the final hurdle. Data drives relevancy which improves experience and keeps shoppers engaged and UK retailers are still missing out a large chunk of revenue potential in the market and, as a result, customer loyalty remains fickle,” Jervis added.

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