Online retailers have urged their counterparts not to delay implementing a multi-channel shopping strategy, but added that true e-commerce social network integration is still some years away.
The retailers were speaking at an event on Thursday hosted by IMRG and Capgemini, who together revealed the latest e-Retail Sales Index, showing that shoppers in the UK spent £7.9bn online during December, the equivalent of £155 per person.
Sales were up by 16.5 per cent on the previous December figures, with the Index value reaching a record high.
While high street stores continue to suffer, retailers can remain competitive by making use of all available technology to push online sales to even higher levels, said Capgemini head of retail and consulting Chris Webster.
Webster said the use of mobile, tablet devices and smartphones by online shoppers has continued to increase and that retailers need to consider these different devices used by customers when devising their online marketing strategies.
Webster also pointed to more interesting ways in which shops can use technology to set them apart from their competitors.
Stores should explore location-based services to help draw people in, he said. Retailers can use such services to know when their best customers are nearby, so they can then reach out and invite them into stores.
Webster also argued that retailers could improve the web experience of their sites, so shoppers can feel like they are shopping in-store, while at their desks.
Mention was also made of John Lewis, which launched a virtual shop in Brighton at the end of last year. The retailer advertised its top products to buy for Christmas in the window of a Waitrose store.
However, Webster said he did not see an end to the high street store, even in 20 years' time. "It is a social experience and that's what attracts many customers in the stores," he told V3.
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