Chain Store Age – Retailers who offer truly seamless shopping may gain a large competitive advantage.
According to a new special report from Boston Retail Partners (BRP), “The Need for Unified Commerce,” 87% of consumers are interested in a personalized and consistent experience across all shopping channels. However, only 28% of retailers currently offer customers the ability to “start the sale anywhere, finish the sale anywhere.”
In addition, while 66% of consumers would choose a store offering same-day delivery over one not offering it, only 32% of retailers offer same-day delivery, and 44% of those indicate the process needs improvement.
One omnichannel area where retailers appear to be keeping up with customer expectations is consistent pricing/promotions across channels – 76% of customers are likely to choose a retailer offering this consistency, and 86% of retailers provide it. However, half of retailers with consistent pricing and promotions across channels say it needs improvement.
Examining the progress retailers have made in implementing the enterprise technologies required to support a seamless customer experience, which BRP terms “unified commerce,” the study found a significant amount of lag. Sixty-one percent of retailers have implemented centralized inventory management, but 43% need improvement. Similarly, 45% of retailers have implemented enhanced network technology while 34% need improvement, with identical responses for integrated CRM technology implementation.
Smaller percentages of retailers have implemented predictive analytics solutions (37%, 30% need improvement) and real-time retail systems (36%, 9% need improvement).
When asked about obstacles to effectively implementing unified commerce, retailers’ top responses were IT/business resource constraints (66%), budgetary constraints (61%), disparate systems (48%), other priorities taking precedence (41%), process challenges (30%), and organizational challenges/silos (23%).
Read the full article: Study: Customers want a consistent experience, but do retailers offer it?