Describing 2017 as a year of political and commercial upheaval, Fonehouse CEO and owner Clive Bailey outlines the role of online: ‘The market and ways of selling will evolve even more than before, especially with social media and online plays. Selling will become more of an old-fashioned word as the drive for customer service and belonging to a marketing idea will be the Holy Grail…
‘Clearly integration of online and retail “clicks to bricks and bricks to clicks“ is now an essential ingredient, but it’s morphing in various ways with the massive increase of social media approval that can seriously challenge a company or its products – or indeed create a gold rush.
‘The larger retail monopolies will apply pressure on the smaller businesses and we may well see more casualties during the year, as surely consolidation is just another word for major corporates taking ownership of a shrinking market. However, there are – as always – ways around for the smaller players.’
Carphone Warehouse is also looking towards online in 2017, with online trading director Laura Harricks telling Mobile: ‘The mobile will become the dominant device to shop from in the coming year and will lead to an increase in the number of late night (midnight) shoppers via multiple screens.’
Harricks went on to explain how this changes how a retailer reaches its audience: ‘It’s increased personalisation ie. serviced bespoke offers as a result of device detection. We also expect inspiring content through online and social channels to become more important in attracting higher-end customers, while social sharing will become more influential when it comes to purchasing.
’Will this trend be limited to B2C? Not according to Plan.com co-founder Keith Curran, who explains: ‘Dealers who embrace digital change and use it to drive and grow their business will flourish, while those who resist the change will flounder.’