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Consumers Want A Single Shopping Cart For All Channels: Study

Media Post – Here’s a finding that could complicate the job of sending cart abandonment emails: Consumers now want access to a single cart across channels. That means they want to “start anywhere and finish anywhere,” from websites to stores, according to Real-Time Retail, a report by BRP, retail consulting firm.

Of the consumers polled, 56% are more likely to shop at a retailer that offers an omnichannel cart experience. But only 7% of retailers provide this. The question is pertinent because 82% of consumers have reviewed products online and purchased in a store. By contrast, 56% have shopped in-store and purchased online or via mobile.

But consumers may be challenged in doing so. Only 34% of retailers have implemented enterprise pricing/promotion features, and feel they are working well. Another 27% say they have them but see the need for improvement. And a mere 25% are upbeat about their cross-channel transaction history capabilities.

Read Full Article: Consumers Want A Single Shopping Cart For All Channels: Study

Customers Want Personalized Experience, One Cart Across Channels

Convenience Store Decisions – Customers want retailers to provide a personalized experience and a shared cart across all channels. Customers want access to a single cart to shop across channels and be able to reach their cart via phone, computer — and in-store. They want to be able to “start anywhere and finish anywhere.”

In a consumer study, BRP, a retail management consulting firm, found that 56% of consumer said they’re likely to choose a retailer who can offer a shared cart across channels. Only 7% of retailers have this function.

BRP also found that 87% of customers want a personalized and consistent experience across all shopping channels. But only 53% of retailers indicate that personalization of the customer experience is a top priority.

“Consumers expect a seamless experience in the store, on the Web and via their mobile device – which makes ‘real-time retail’ the new industry imperative,” said BRP Principal Ken Morris. “In our experience, many retailers can check inventory in real-time, but the data they are accessing is actually from yesterday, as the data is not really updated in real-time – it is faux real-time retail based on the store and forward architecture of legacy POS and e-commerce systems.”

Read Full Article: Customers Want Personalized Experience, One Cart Across Channels

Study: The omnichannel features customers most want are…

Chain Store Age – Consumers desire a specific omnichannel shopping capability, but few retailers offer it. According to “Special Report: Real-Time Retail,” a new study from BRP, retail consulting firm, 56% of consumers indicated that they were likely to shop at a retailer that allowed them to have a shared cart across PC, smartphone and brick-and-mortar channels versus a retailer that does not offer this service. Yet only 7% of retailers offer this shared cart concept.

The study also identifies other disconnects between what consumers want from an omnichannel experience and what retailers are providing. For example, 87% of consumers want a personalized and consistent experience across all shopping channels. But only 53% of retailers indicate that personalization of the customer experience is a top priority.

Read Full Article: Study: The omnichannel features customers most want are…

Study: 56% of consumers more likely to choose a retailer who offers shared cart across channels

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods – Real-time retail is the ability to deliver a seamless and personalized experience to the customer whenever, wherever and however he/she chooses to shop. Customers want access to a single cart to shop across channels and be able to reach their cart via phone, computer or even in the store, according to the report published by BRP, retail consulting firm.

The study, “SPECIAL REPORT: Real-Time Retail,” reveals that 56% of consumers surveyed indicated that they were likely to shop at a retailer that allowed them to have a shared cart across channels instead of a retailer that does not offer this service, yet only 7% of retailers offer this shared cart concept.

“Consumers expect a seamless experience in the store, on the web and via their mobile device, which makes ‘real-time retail’ the new industry imperative,” says Ken Morris, principal. “In our experience, many retailers can check inventory in real-time, but the data they are accessing is actually from yesterday, as the data is not really updated in real-time; it is faux real-time retail based on the store and forward architecture of legacy point-of-sale and e-commerce systems. As retailers move to unified commerce, full access to enterprise-wide data in real-time will become more common as it is a necessity to survive.”

Read Full Article: Study: 56% of consumers more likely to choose a retailer who offers shared cart across channels

Curbside Pickup Picks up Steam With Convenience, Speed and Digital Payments

Ngenuity Payments Journal – Jan Grogan drives her blue Volvo to Walmart to pick up groceries that she ordered online the night before. She pulls her car into one of the designated parking spaces on the side of the building, where an employee meets her and confirms her $50 order. Grogan has already paid for the groceries. She used a credit card online when she made her order.

The baby boomer pops the trunk, and within a few minutes she is all loaded up with groceries and ready to go home. This is how Grogan rolls these days. She really likes the new grocery shopping pickup service, which is ideal for her and her busy schedule.

As more consumers like Grogan move to online and mobile ordering, it’s no surprise that curbside pickup, facilitated by smartphone apps and digital payments, is experiencing growth with restaurants and retailers. With giants like McDonald’s, Chick-fil-A, Target and Nordstrom installing parking spaces for curbside pickup, off-premise shopping and dining is becoming an even larger piece of the retail pie. Brands must keep up with the trend or risk falling behind, analysts say.

To keep pace, retailers must offer customers an omnichannel buying and payment experience, whether it’s in-store purchasing, purchasing online with home delivery, buying online and picking up in-store, or buying online and picking up outside the store.

While Walmart offers its curbside pickup service for groceries only, other retailers such as Nordstrom and Target offer curbside services for most anything in stock. Yet, two challenges retailers face with curbside pickup are increased operational costs and the loss of impulse buys.

Another benefit of curbside is attracting diverse demographics, such as parents with young children, seniors and people with mobility issues. “It potentially allows you to attract a different consumer base and shift shoppers to your brand from Amazon or other online businesses,” says Jeffrey Neville, senior vice president and practice lead at BRP Consulting. “If you can offer same-day order, same-day pickup, that appeals to some people.”

Convenience, speed and making payments easy are three keys to a successful curbside program, says Neville. Plus, new vehicle location technology used by some retailers and restaurants expedites the curbside experience for customers.

“A lot of retailers are offering mobile apps now for easy ordering and paying,” says Neville. “You pay with Apple Pay or link your credit card to the apps.” He believes stores with curbside services will make up what they miss in impulse buys by increasing purchase frequency and attracting new customer segments. From a consumer perspective, Neville says one of the obvious benefits of curbside pickup is reducing stress in people who have busy lives. “I’m stressed about going to Target, finding a parking spot, navigating all of the aisles and dealing with long lines and a lot of people,” he says.

An alternative to the often-crowded drive-thru lane, the curbside pickup trend also drives the growth of cars as a place for commerce. And in the future, the service could align well with the emergence of self-driving vehicles and connected cars.

“When you combine this [curbside] feature with self-driving vehicles, I can send my car out to do my errands and essentially complete a curbside pickup with nobody in the car,” says Neville.

Read Full Article: Curbside Pickup Picks up Steam With Convenience, Speed and Digital Payments

Tech Viewpoint: Three unexpected findings from NRF 2019

Chain Store Age – The NRF Big Show exhibit floor always throws a few curve balls, and that’s a good thing.

Before NRF 2019, I posted a column discussing three tech trends to watch. In what will come as a surprise to nobody who knows me, I didn’t exactly get it right. Here are three findings from the Big Show indicating where retail is truly heading this year.

Mobile is table stakes

Channels are so 2018

“Retail is theater,” according to BRP, retail consulting firm, principal, Ken Morris. There are no more channels, only different stages to perform the single task of getting customers the products they want, when and where they want them.

You can’t change the weather–but you can plan for it

Read Full Article: Tech Viewpoint: Three unexpected findings from NRF 2019

Study: 66% Of Retailers Say Inaccurate Inventory Data Creates BOPIS Inconsistency

Retail TouchPoints – Retailers are well aware that an omnichannel approach to both the customer experience and their internal systems is now a basic business requirement: 94% of retailers already have, or plan to implement, a single unified commerce platform within three years, up from 81% in 2017, according to the 2019 POS/Customer Engagement Study from BRP.

Even in-store, many retailers have failed to bring their systems up to the speed of innovation: just 25% of store networks, 32% of POS hardware and 25% of POS software is less than two years old, while 30% of retailers use POS hardware that is at least six years old, according to BRP. Before retailers can take advantage of the latest friction-reducing technology, they need to make sure their networks are capable of handling the unique challenges posed by omnichannel systems.

Read Full Article: Study: 66% Of Retailers Say Inaccurate Inventory Data Creates BOPIS Inconsistency

What are Retailers’ Top Customer Engagement Priorities for 2019?

As retailers look for ways to differentiate in today’s highly competitive market, customer engagement strategies like personalization, mobile experience and real-time retail are critical components for optimizing the customer’s shopping experience. In fact, according to the recent BRP Consumer Study, 79% said personalized service from a sales associate was an important factor in determining at which store they choose to shop. Retailers understand the importance of personalization as 53% are focused on this for 2019, according to the 20thAnnual POS/Customer Engagement Benchmark Survey.

Retailers understand the imperative for change, as 94% of retailers, up from 81% last year, have indicated that they have or plan to implement a single unified commerce platform within the next three years. “It is time to reimagine the customer engagement model as yesterday’s retail is dead, and agility is paramount as retail continues to rapidly evolve,” said Brian Brunk, principal at BRP. “Key to this agility and transformation is a single commerce platform. Victory belongs to the agile.”

“As customer expectations for an increasingly customized experience increase and evolve, retailers are adopting new ways to identify customers and personalize their shopping journey,” said Perry Kramer, senior vice president and practice lead at BRP. “Retailers continue to offer more mobile services from a consumer-facing and associate-facing perspective that include personalized recommendations, loyalty rewards, coupons, discounts and promotions. It is also interesting to note that 63% of retailers plan on having the ability to use a customer owned mobile device as a POS device within three years.

BRP’s 20thAnnual POS/Customer Engagement 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 key customer experience trends driving today’s initiatives are:

PERSONAL – Engaging the customer with personalized and relevant messaging is the key to customer loyalty

  • 79% of consumers said personalized service from a sales associate is an important factor in determining at which store they choose to shop
  • 53% of retailers indicate that personalization is one of their top customer engagement priorities

MOBILE – The pervasiveness and ease-of-use of mobile devices offers tremendous opportunities for retailers

  • 63% of consumers use their mobile phone while shopping in a store to compare prices, look for offers/coupons, check inventory availability, etc.
  • 49% of retailers indicate that the customer mobile experience is one of their top customer engagement priorities

SEAMLESS – Today’s customer journey crisscrosses channels, requiring the retailer to provide a seamless, personalized experience

  • 56% of consumers indicate they are more likely to shop at a retailer that allows them to have a shared cart across channels
  • 94% of retailers have or plan to implement a single unified commerce platform within three years, up from 81% last year

SECURE – Today’s retail environment requires security beyond retailers’ current focus on payments and networks

  • 50% of consumers are likely to allow retailers to save purchase history, personal preferences and personal details if it eases the checkout process and allows for more personalized offers
  • 61% of retailers have implemented end-to-end encryption to offer customers greater security of their personal and payment data

I encourage you to download the complete 20thAnnual POS/CustomerEngagement Benchmarking Survey:

https://brpconsulting.com/download/2019-pos-survey/

A special thanks goes to our POS/Customer Engagement Survey sponsors:  TSYS is the platinum sponsor, the gold sponsors are AptosDiebold Nixdorf, ECRS and Fujitsu, and the silver sponsor is STORIS.

As always, I appreciate your feedback on this report. Please share your comments and opinions below.

David

A Personalized Brand Experience Across Digital Channels is Imperative

Consumers now start and stop their shopping journey in different channels, including online marketplaces and social media, and frequently shop for the same product across different retailers, both online and in the store. Consumers don’t think in terms of channels, they think in terms of brands and experiences.

According to the 2018 Digital Commerce Survey, 51% of consumers feel it is important to get a personalized experience across all digital channels within a brand.

The good news is that retailers recognize the importance of the cross-channel, personalized customer experience, as their top digital customer experience priorities are creating a consistent brand experience across channels (57%) and improving personalization (38%).

The challenge for retailers is to “keep up” with continually evolving customer expectations. The growth of mobile is driving demand for increased digital capabilities bundled with personalization in the store. The gap between consumer demand for digital experiences and retailers’ current capabilities is what we call the “great digital divide,” and is driving additional changes in the industry.

The new retail model requires retailers to transform their business and reinvent themselves to create a successful blend of the physical and digital worlds to maintain their customers’ loyalty. New and innovative methods of shopping – driven by mobile technology, artificial intelligence and rapidly changing fulfillment methods – are elevating customer expectations. The speed of these changes requires organizational agility to quickly and easily react to increasing customer expectations and changing consumer behavior.

I encourage you to download and read the 2018 Digital Commerce Survey for more insights on the cross channel digital experience:

Download Now

As always, I appreciate your insights on this topic.  Please share your feedback and opinions below.

 

Jeffrey

Shopping experiences must be personalized across channels: BRP

Luxury Daily – As the lines between physical and digital stores continues to blur, retailers need to personalize shopping experiences beyond in-store and continue to create consistent brand experiences online.

A new report from Boston Retail Partners, retail consulting firm, finds that 51 percent of consumers want a personalized experience across all digital channels within a brand. Currently, less than a fifth of retailers use customer-identifying technology in their stores, pointing to the potential for more customized engagement.

“To engage with the customer and personalize their experience, retailers need to quickly and easily identify the customer,” Jeffrey Neville, senior vice president and practice lead at Boston Retail Partners. “Identifying the customer as they enter the store – via their smartphone, beacon or other technology – affords the retailer the opportunity to personalize the customer’s shopping experience.”

Three-quarters of consumers use digital tools prior to their in-store visit, and 46 percent use mobile devices while shopping at bricks-and-mortar stores. Almost a quarter of retailers surveyed named improving mobile shopping experiences as their top priority.

Creating a consistent brand experience across channels is the top digital priority for retailers, and was named as a focus by 57 percent of respondents. Thirty-eight percent of retailers also cited wanting to improve customer loyalty, personalization and user experience.

However, retailers cannot improve personalization efforts without first identifying individual shoppers. Seventy-nine percent of respondents plan to introduce technology to better identify customers within the next three years, while 76 percent plan to integrate geolocation to improve how promotions are sent to customers.

Read Full Article: Shopping experiences must be personalized across channels: BRP