There is little doubt that online now forms an integral part of the retail experience for many consumers, particularly in Western markets. In 2011, UK online trade accounted for 12% of all retail, the highest in Europe[i], and this trend only looks to increase with the inexorable rise of mobile commerce that recently achieved the milestone of over 5% during Q4 of last year[ii].
Using the internet for retail has become so commonplace that for many, the added benefits of convenience, easy research ability, and price comparison tools outweigh the effort required to physically visit the traditional bricks-and-mortar store.
But is online delivering everything consumers need from a shopping experience? As we move further into the digital age, consumers expect a personalised, tailored and social shopping experience regardless of the medium through which it is conducted.