RetailTechNews rounds up some of the biggest stories in the European retail technology space. In this week’s edition: Location Sciences and On Device Research launch online-to-offline attribution product; Wayfair launches visual search; Accenture research finds AI-powered tech will drive Christmas spending; Research from DigitalBridge reveals better tech builds brand loyalty; and Visualsoft finds poor page loads speeds will hit retailer revenue.
Location Sciences partners with On Device Research to deliver online-to-offline attribution product
Mobile location intelligence company, Location Sciences, has partnered with On Device Research, a brand effectiveness company, to deliver a new online-to-offline attribution product, which is tipped to be the most accurate and precise tool in the UK for measuring media effectiveness in driving in-store visits.
According to the press release, Location Science’s first-party consumer location data will power Mobile Store Effect, an On Device Research product, accessing consistent background data via integrated SDKs. This will mean consumers will be able to be precisely attributed to a location with accuracy down to one metre.
Accurately measuring the effectiveness of media at driving in-store visits is the holy grail for many retailers, as it allows them to close the loop between online and offline activity. The accuracy of this new product will mean that retailers really will be able to accurately tie media spend, and beyond, to in-store activity.
Wayfair launches ‘Search with Photo’ in Europe
Wayfair has announced a new AI-powered feature, ‘Search with Photo’, which allows shoppers to easily find furnishings for their homes.
With visual search, shoppers can take a photo or upload an existing one within the Wayfair site, where they will be shown a list of visually similar products, making it significantly easier for them to find what they’re looking for among Wayfair’s millions of product options.
Visual search is becoming increasingly popular in the retail space and makes shopping for larger purchases, such as furniture, online a much more viable option.
According to Wayfair’s co-founder and co-chairman, Steve Conine, visual search is just one of the ways the online retailer is leveraging AI and other innovative technologies to reinvent their customers’ shopping experiences. The visual search feature is available on Wayfair in the UK and Germany.
AI-powered technologies to drive UK consumer spending this Christmas
According to research by Accenture in its latest Holiday Shopping Survey, 88% of the 1,500 UK consumers surveyed are now familiar with mobile payments at the checkout, with awareness of services such as Amazon’s Alexa (81%), Google Home, (67%), chatbots (46%), and even virtual mannequins (34%), also a familiar experience for shoppers.
Furthermore, 28% of respondents said they would actively choose drone delivery over other delivery options, if it were offered, because of ease of use and the fact they are ‘cool’ and ‘exciting’.
However, with great power comes great responsibility, and it seems the security of personal information remains a concern for consumers using technology to complete purchases. Half of respondents said they were concerned about the safety of personal data when making online purchases, with 59% saying it would affect the brands from which they choose to buy.
Research reveals better tech is the key to building brand loyalty
Research from DigitalBridge, augmented reality specialists for the home decor market, has found that the technology consumers most want to engage with is AR.
Fifty percent of UK consumers said they would be more likely to be loyal to a brand that offered them access to this type of visualisation experience, either in-store or online. Furthermore, loyalty increases among 18-24 year olds, 69% of whom claimed they would be more loyal to brands with AR offerings.
The option to preview products in the real world before making the purchase is one of the main reasons consumers see the future of retail in AR, with VR (virtual reality), and AI tools like chatbots also growing in popularity.
Poor page-load speeds will hinder retailers this holiday season
Over half of 240 of the UK’s top retailers could risk huge revenue losses, due to poor page-load times on their websites, finds Visualsoft in a new research study.
The problem is particularly prevalent on mobile sites, with 57% of mobile shoppers potentially being affected by poor page speeds.
Visualsoft’s 2017 E-Retail Performance Report reveals the most sluggish retailers will lose 29% of potential customers through site speed alone. Online retailers were ranked ‘excellent’, ‘fair’, and ‘poor’, with only 2% of the UK’s leading retailers achieving the top ranking, meaning sites loaded in under four seconds the speed required to ensure minimal customer drop-off.
Visualsoft’s chief sales officer, Tim Johnson, explained that a nine-second load time is considered slow, with evidence showing over 50% of consumers expect sites to load in two seconds or less: “For every additional second it takes to load, rates of conversion have been found to drop by up to 20%.”