UK retail lags behind global average: Salesforce
Written by Peter Walker
During the first quarter UK retailers grew 0.4 per cent year-on-year, well below the global and European averages, according to Salesforce's latest shopping index.
Economic uncertainty due to Brexit was blamed for lower consumer confidence and fewer purchases by the report which analyses the activity of more than 500 million shoppers worldwide.
UK retailers experienced a four per cent decline in mobile visits in the first three months of 2019, making it the only region that recorded negative growth in mobile visits.
Product assortment growth for UK retailers was two per cent during the period, an 80 per cent year-on-year decline, making UK the second lowest in catalog growth globally (behind Spain).
Despite possible economic effect of Brexit, the percentage of UK active shoppers continued to rise year-on-year from 18 per cent in the first quarter of 2017 and 19 per cent during the same period last year, to 20 per cent this year. Active shoppers are those who demonstrated a buying signal like searching, adding a product to cart or starting a checkout during their visit.
Globally, digital revenue grew by 12 per cent year-on-year, driven primarily by a 10 per cent growth in shopper spend.
Shoppers who engaged with artificial intelligence-powered product recommendations during their shopping experience spent 26 per cent more than those who did not.
Jamie Merrick, director of strategic solutions at Salesforce Commerce Cloud, commented: “Although the retail narrative has been one of doom and gloom, the reality is that retailers are continuing to see strong growth in digital revenues, with a 12 per cent increase year-on-year.
"A massive contributor to this has been a 10 per cent increase in shopper spend, partly driven by a 16 per cent increase in average order value."
She continued that whilst this growth is down to a number of factors, transformative technologies like AI are contributing to these figures.
"What the research highlights is technology such as AI is offering retailers a tremendous opportunity to deliver increasingly personalised and useful recommendations, driving efficiencies, sales and revenue growth.”