Vast Majority of UK Purchases Online; Netflix Taking Control of TV Market

RetailTechNews’ weekly roundup brings you up-to-date research findings from around the world. In this week’s edition: Vast Majority of UK Purchases Online; Netflix Taking Control of TV Market; and Struggles to Support Digital Self Service.

Vast Majority of UK Purchases Online

Online shoppers in the United Kingdom make 87% of their retail purchases online, according to the Delivery Matters report by the Royal Mail. That’s an increase of almost 9%, compared to the situation last year.

Consumers in the UK keep browsing shops and price comparison websites online so they can get the best deals and prices.

The fact they can easily compare prices, along with the wider choice of products, are the most important reasons why UK consumers go and shop online instead of buying things in-store. And when they do shop online, UK online shoppers spend almost £34 on each online transaction. That’s somewhat less than what they spent on average last year, at £37.

The study also found that when consumers in the United Kingdom shop online, the laptop is the device most commonly used in the evening, while smartphones are used more at all other times of the day. Currently, 78% of Brits use their mobile phone for online shopping when they are travelling or commuting.

More than one-in-five consumers (22%) bought something online after they discovered it on social media. The use of social networks to shop online keeps increasing, with younger shoppers (48%), women (29%), and people living in urban areas (38%) among the groups that are significantly more likely to buy something after seeing posts on social media.

Netflix Taking Control of TV Market

Netflix viewers soar by 45% year-on-year, new IPA TouchPoints data reveals. This, and an overall rise of the subscription video on-demand category, are fuelling overall television/video consumption, with Brits now tuning in for 4 hours 41 minutes a day.

Almost a third (29%) of all British adults are now watching Netflix each week. These figures are almost double for 15-34-year-olds, where 54% of them are watching Netflix each week, up from 39% in 2017. This marks a 38% increase in viewers year-on-year, and means that Netflix is now the second most popular channel for this age group, only behind BBC One.

Today more than half (52%) of all people tuning in to television or video are tuning in to binge watch. Brits are now consuming 8 hours and 11 minutes of media (television, radio, social networking/messaging, internet, cinema, and more) per day – a 3% increase year-on-year and 17% increase from 2005.

After television/video (99% reach / 4 hours 41 minutes), OOH is the second largest medium, matching television on reach, but with fewer hours exposure (99% / 3 hours 24 minutes). Radio and audio takes third place, with a weekly reach of 91% and 3 average hours; whilst social networking and messaging is now the fourth largest medium for adults, with an 87% weekly reach and average daily hours usage of 3 hrs and 9 minutes.

Struggles to Support Digital Self Service

Companies are facing increased customer demand for digital self-service options, such as chat and text message, but many are quick to add new channels of communication without first addressing internal barriers, according to Calabrio.

In the rush to deploy additional customer communication channels, many organisations skip the much-needed operational planning required for those channels to provide the best possible service to customer.

It’s clear that companies know the importance of providing a seamless, quality experience across all channels. However, only 45% think they are very effective at doing so. A variety of barriers still exist, including inconsistent training across channels, a lack of the ability to combine customer interaction data from all channels, and budget constraints.

In order to drive customer loyalty, omnichannel strategies should reflect the journey customers want to take. Almost half (44%) of organisations say they offer four or more channels to communicate with their brand, but 58% admit they think their customers only use two or three. This misalignment highlights a lack of true understanding of the customer journey and can be detrimental to customer satisfaction and retention.