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Posted By:  ECT News Network on 08/25/2017 in Ecommerce

Study Uncovers Omnichannel Shopping Essentials

Study Uncovers Omnichannel Shopping Essentials

The omnichannel approach to customer contact has become a byword in customer service, but retailers need to do more to make it happen, based on a recent study from Kibo.

Researchers tested 57 metrics across desktop, mobile and in-store buying touchpoints to evaluate the end-to-end omnichannel experience at 30 popular and growing retailers.

They focused on four major categories: fulfillment and inventory; personalization; pricing consistency; and in-store signage.

The State of the Omnichannel Experience

Among the study's conclusions:

  • 87 percent of retailers provided a product locator on their website that indicated whether an item was in-stock or available;
  • Only 35 percent displayed the quantity of inventory available;
  • Ninety-seven percent of store associates could access inventory levels, but only 33 percent were equipped with handheld or mobile technology to do so;
  • Only 25 percent of store associates could place an order for a customer; of those, 92 percent had to do it at a register or customer service counter, and not in an aisle;
  • Sixteen percent of retailers had inconsistent pricing between their e-commerce site and their brick-and-mortar locations;
  • Only 60 percent of retailers showed website visitors their recently viewed items;
  • Only 53 percent of study participants could show personalized recommendations without the customer signing into the store's account.

Competing With Ecommerce

Here's the problem: Ecommerce absolutely is killing brick-and-mortar stores, and Amazon, in particular, has taken personalization to a high degree. Change is vital for retailers.

"More than 1,000 stores went away in 2016, and 10 to 12 percent of shopping malls will simply go away this year, because they can't compete effectively with etail," observed Michael Jude, a research manager at Stratecast/Frost & Sullivan. "It's appalling."

Nationwide, between 20 percent and 25 percent of shopping malls will undergo change, predicted Brian Andrus, president of the Florida Gulfcoast Commercial Association of Realtors.

They will "either close completely, close and reopen with a change in tenants and in property upgrades, or be demolished and change into a different type of retail component -- including new entertainment, movie houses and so on," he told CRM Buyer.

"Or they'll be demolished and change in use to warehousing or apartments or condos and so on," Andrus continued.

Consumers' shopping habits -- going online instead of to a brick-and-mortar store -- "play a huge part" in the devolution of the shopping mall, he noted.

Read more about the Kibo study and recommendations to retailers on CRM Buyer.

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