Retailers rushing to boost multi-channel capabilities

Change in the behaviour of UK's consumers is forcing retailers to adapt, spending large sums of money on improving their multi-channel capabilities, a new report says.

According to the arvato UK Quarterly Outsourcing Index, outsourcing spend in the retail sector jumped more than double, year-on-year, to £155.3 million in the first quarter of 2016. Deals delivering an improved multi-channel experience were in 60 per cent of these agreements.

These movements in the industry are based on data showing that e-commerce spending in the UK is expected to grow by 11 per cent in 2016. IMRG says e-commerce spending will hit £126 billion this year, with 34 per cent of consumers stating their main way of shopping would be mobile.

“UK retailers are keen to reach customers through a broad range of channels. However, delivering a seamless, multi-channel shopping experience requires major transformation,“ said Debra Maxwell, CEO, CRM & Public Sector, UK & Ireland, arvato.

“Our research shows that retailers are increasingly looking to outsourcing partners to access the technology and expertise they need to get ahead in a rapidly growing market.”

Looking at the bigger picture, these changes have contributed to an incredibly strong first quarter for UK outsourcing. In total, contracts worth £2.08 billion were signed, in both private and public sectors in the country, representing a 116 per cent jump compared to the same period last year.

The public sector has had a larger part of the cake (65 pe cent), spending a total of £1.35 billion. ITO agreements dominated government spending, rising 47 per cent year-on-year.