Are Retailers Keeping Pace with Consumers’ Unified Commerce Expectations?

BRP recently published the 2018 Customer Experience/Unified Commerce Survey which analyzes and compares consumer expectations to retailer capabilities to identify opportunities.

While retailers seem to be doing well in many areas, there are a few areas where their capabilities need to catch up with consumer expectations.

As consumers will often stop shopping a brand after just one bad customer moment, it becomes critical for retailers to make the shopping experience seamless and frictionless.

“While most consumers expect the ability to shop seamlessly across channels, only 7% of retailers currently provide a complete unified commerce experience by allowing a customer to ‘start the sale anywhere, finish the sale anywhere,’ with another 50% planning to implement it in three years,”said Perry Kramer, senior vice president and practice lead at BRP. “With customer expectations continuing to rise, it is promising to see how many retailers are focused on adding new capabilities to enhance the shopping experience.”

BRP’s 2018 Customer Experience/Unified Commerce Survey of top North American retailers offers insights into retailers’ current priorities and initiatives as digital and physical retail environments converge to facilitate a seamless experience across channels. The report also compares retailers’ priorities with customer expectations – based on recent results from the 2018 Retail Consumer Study conducted by Incisiv and sponsored by BRP and Windstream Enterprise – to understand how retailer priorities align with customer expectations.

The key survey findings are organized around the E5of Customer Experience:

  1. Educate – Customers start the purchasing process by researching the brand and products, so it is critical to ensure they and the store associates have information and tools that are easy to access and use.
  • 62% of consumers check reviews/ratings before visiting a store
  • 61% of retailers offer consumer product reviews for research
  1. Engage – The first step in customer engagement is to identify the customer early in the process and offer associates the ability to leverage customer information to allow personalized interaction.
  • 64% of consumers are fine with retailers saving purchase history and personal perferences if more personalization is offered
  • 61% of retailers make in-store and online shopping history available to associates to tailor the customer experience
  1. Execute – To meet and exceed today’s elevated customer expectations, retailers must deliver unified commerce capabilities and empower associates with the right tools to optimize the experience.
  • 73% of consumers want the ability to track orders across all points of interaction
  • 42% of retailers offer the ability to track orders across channels
  1. Enhance – Gathering feedback to understand customers’ likes and dislikes allows for a continuous improvement loop and helps empower associates to create a desired customer experience.
  • 51% of consumers will stop shopping at a retailer after 1-2 poor in-store shopping trips
  • 62% of retailers plan to improve their in-store customer experience within three years
  1. Enablers – Delivering a personalized customer experience requires the right technology and network.
  • 68% of consumers are more likely to choose a store offering an automated returns process
  • 13% of retailers offer an automated returns process

To download the complete 2018 Customer Experience/Unified Commerce Survey, visit:

https://brpconsulting.com/download/2018-unified-commerce-survey/.

Special thanks goes out to our sponsors. The 2018 Customer Experience/Unified Commerce Survey platinum sponsors are Aptos and Manhattan Associates, gold sponsors are Cayan, ECRS, enVista and PCMS, and the silver sponsor is STORIS.

Vice President of Marketing
David has more than 15 years of experience marketing to retail and hospitality companies. His broad marketing experience is focused on designing and executing successful strategic marketing plans, demand generation, public relations and branding through customer-centric messaging. He has significant experience marketing retail technology and services with an emphasis on POS systems.

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