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Retail Technology, Retail technology News

Analyst predicts social sales rise

Monday November 15 2010

Ovum identifies the technology that will shape shopping in 2011 and beyond

Ovum identifies the technology that will shape shopping in 2011 and beyond


Shopping through social media channels will take off in 2011, after a slow start characterised by cynicism from UK retailers, analyst firm Ovum has predicted.


The independent technology analyst believes 2011 will be the year when social commerce through sites such as Facebook experiences substantial growth and finally lives up to the hype surrounding it.


Christine Bardwell, Ovum analyst and author of a new report on retail technology, said: “Contrary to the current waves of cynicism in the UK retail sector, 2011 will be the year when social commerce will really take off.


“In the UK, the leading retail brands have been slow to adopt a strategy for social commerce and the success stories have been few and far between. However, it offers good sales potential in 2011 and will be the big story in retail technology. It definitely should not be disregarded as a fad.


“Retailers will start to take a serious stance on social shopping in 2011 and we will see more and more products and services available for us to buy when we log on to catch up with our friends.”


Multichannel growth to continue


According to Bardwell, shopping via mobile phones will be the other area that experiences significant growth in 2011. She added: “In 2010, early adopters successfully implemented m-commerce and in 2011 we will see significant uptake of the channel as retailers scramble to get a slice of the action.”


Meanwhile, Bardwell believes that, beyond 2011, the next big channel for retailers to exploit will be television sets with an internet connection. She said: “There are definitely signs that this will be a channel that opens up for retailers in the near future. We will start to see the option to click through consumers’ favourite soap operas or music videos to make a purchase.”


Bardwell added that retailers need to be prepared to keep pace with the new shopping channels that are often quickly introduced. She added: “Integrating all these channels is the key to driving repeat business, which is crucial as the days of high growth on the high street are over and the signs are that the online market is starting to mature and should not be relied on for long-term growth.


“It is important that retailers link all the channels as multichannel shoppers spend a third more than their single-channel counterparts. Consumers demand greater convenience and channel choice and retailers need to keep abreast of these changing habits.”