Millennials And Mobile Helping To Establish UK As ‘New Retail’ Leader

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Accenture's 'World Of Me' space at the Millennial 20-20 summit
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Ecommerce innovation puts the UK way out in front of European rivals when it comes to consumer loyalty, Accenture c;ao,s

British retailers are leading the way when it comes to online shopping, with youthful customers – or ‘Millennials’ – helping to establish the country as one of the leading powers in ecommerce, according to Accenture.

Research carried out by the consulting firm found UK retailers are rapidly responding to increasing demand for mobility, as 92 percent now have websites optimised for mobile.

In addition, nearly three-quarters (72 percent) offer smartphone apps that can be used to buy goods – significantly higher than the global average of 58 percent and lower only than the United States, where more than four in five retailers (83 percent) offer such apps.

The future now

Accenture's 'World Of Me' space at the Millennial 20-20 summit“People have talked about the store of the future for nearly a decade…but the reality is that it is now,” Accenture’s UK Retail practice managing director Matt Prebble told TechWeekEurope at the Millennial 2020 event in London this week.

“When you look at it, the single most important thing for retailers to get right, especially in the UK, is their ability to be able to change and adapt.”

Highlighting the “great strides” made in mobile commerce in the UK in recent years, as Accenture’s says 30 percent of UK consumers shop on the go, Prebble says that there was still work to be done.

“We’ve improved customer satisfaction with the mobile shopping journey to 50 percent,” he said. “But this means that 50 percent of customers still aren’t satisfied.”

The research suggested that consumers of all ages are increasingly looking for something more with their mobile shopping experience. Real-time in-store promotions, which are extremely rare in the UK, were demanded by 57 percent of respondents, as was more accurate information on in-store pricing and availability before actually deciding to visit the store.

Accenture's 'World Of Me' space at the Millennial 20-20 summitMillennials were actually more likely than older generations to visit retail stores (35 percent versus 22 percent), the research discovered, however, they are also more than twice as likely to use mobile devices to find the items they want to purchase both in-store and online (44 percent versus 18 percent), suggesting that improvements to mobile shopping are also needed.

Overall, the number of UK consumers who said they find it easy to make purchases with their mobile devices increased nearly 20 percent over the past year, from 42 percent to 50 percent.

“The future is looking good for the UK,” Prebble (pictured above) notes, “our ability to almost reinvent ourselves, get rid of some of the legacy that we’ve had in the past, and update that and change and adopt new technology, is going to be absolutely key to staying ahead of the game.”

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