UK businesses are at the forefront of enhancing their digital experiences with the use of social media, according to a new survey. The retail sector was found to provide the most mature digital experience found in the UK economy.
According to analysis from Statista, from June 2017 to July 2020, the number of digital customer interactions with brand touchpoints tripled, from 20% to almost 60%. In other words, the beginning of the pandemic saw the need to develop leading digital customer experiences accelerate in three years. In the years since, this shows no sign of slowing – as even as brick-and-mortar stores have reopened, many of the behaviors learned during the lockdown months persist among consumers.
To showcase digital experience best practices and where most improvement is needed, BearingPoint UK polled 77 companies across the sectors of banking, energy, insurance, fashion retail, non-retail retail food, food retail and telecommunications. Research shows that of all industries, retail is currently leading.
BearingPoint surveyed respondents about their services in digital marketing; digital product experience; ecommerce; and E-CRM. Scoring respondents according to their answers, BearingPoint scores each company and ultimately their sector, out of five. Leading in this charge is non-food retail – with a score of 3.43. This represents an improvement of 0.16 from last year’s score, which also shows that the sector offers the best digital experience.
This sector includes AO Retail – which received the highest maturity score of any UK company. In particular, its digital marketing footprint helped attract customers, with a clear link to lower-budget products and services. However, it is a running topic for the broader non-food retail segment, scoring 3.69 for digital marketing efforts.
Stuart Higgins, Partner at BearingPoint, said: “Once again, UK retail has really driven digital success and taken the UK to second globally in the rankings. our annual digital ranking. AO Retail scores exceptionally well for search engine marketing, affiliate marketing, and product and store availability information – all with a maximum score of 5.0 out of 5.0. AO’s digital marketing really stands out with its content focused on energy efficient appliances clearly linked to their services and products, distributed through social media platforms. different societies.”
Other UK businesses are seeing the success this strategy has had for non-food retailers. While the other countries in the survey were more hesitant to make social media a part of their customer experience, UK companies appear to be more than willing to harness the technology.
For example, while 54% of global companies said they use Twitter to provide instant customer service, this rose to 87% among UK respondents. Meanwhile, 90% of companies in the UK use Instagram for marketing, compared to 79% of companies globally. These platforms are – now – free to use and where many consumers already go every day – making them an easier way to integrate shopping into their other activities.
These also help companies meet the five key success factors of digital leaders that BearingPoint highlighted. These put the customer at the center of the value proposition; generate a positive emotional response through all customer interactions; deliver value with a suite of advanced technologies that leverage data centralization; innovation in all aspects of the ecosystem; and integrate ethics, sustainability and a broader worldview in everyday operations.