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Consumers want a shared cart across channels

In BRP’s Consumer Study, 56% of consumers indicated that they were more 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 currently offer this shared cart concept – that’s a huge gap that retailers are struggling to bridge.

According to BRP’s SPECIAL REPORT: Real-Time Retail, 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 – they want to “start anywhere and finish anywhere.”

As consumer expectations continue to rise, we have seen the importance of real-time visibility and access to product and customer information across channels grow significantly. With real-time inventory visibility and access across the enterprise, retailers can reduce or eliminate safety stock, which is a significant cost savings. Knowing where your products are in real-time also increases sales and minimizes markdowns.

Today’s retail model has to venture beyond omni-channel by breaking down the walls between internal channel silos and leveraging a common commerce platform with a single order management system to deliver a holistic, real-time, personal, seamless experience.

As consumers expect a seamless experience in the store, on the Web and via their mobile device – ‘real-time retail’ becomes the new industry imperative. In my 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. This is ‘faux real-time retail’ based on the traditional store and forward architecture of legacy POS and e-commerce systems. As retailers move to unified commerce, full access to enterprise-wide data in real-time becomes more common as it is a necessity to survive.

This is ‘faux real-time retail’ based on the traditional legacy POS and e-commerce architecture where copies of master files are maintained at the store and updated on the headquarters’ system each night via transaction logs (TLOG). The enterprise master data records are essentially a day behind actual data.

Your customers are telling you what they want, are you listening?

I encourage you to download the full report to better understand the necessity of real-time retail to ensure you are meeting your customers’ expectations.

Ken

Unification Nation – Unified commerce transforming the retail customer experience

Canadian Retailer – Picture this: A customer walks through a retailer’s front door. They’ve come for a click-and-collect item they purchased on their laptop 24 hours earlier. Before they leave the store, they spend a few minutes browsing (simultaneously comparing prices on the ever-ubiquitous Amazon), and as they pass relevant items, the store’s smartphone app displays in-store deals that correspond to both their location, and their buying habits. They pick up a few more products—some of which they purchase, some they leave behind. At the checkout, they seamlessly combine a physical purchase with a digital purchase. As they make their way to the parking lot, their social media feed shows an ad for one of the items they left behind, along with a coupon for 15 per cent off, which, when clicked, allows them to purchase the item in the store’s mobile app—alongside other related items—and have these delivered to their home.

Quotes from Brian Brunk (pages 10-13):

“Customer expectations in retail are increasing, regardless of a retailer’s size,” adds Brian Bunk, Principal at BRP, retail consulting firm, “and to compete, winning retailers are adopting a unified commerce strategy. The benefits are numerous: improved customer experience, increasing expectations, simplified and agile technology, cross-channel inventory visibility and availability, flexible ordering and delivery options, personalization… And most of these benefits are becoming table stakes in today’s competitive retail market.”

It’s a lot to manage at once, Bunk admits—but it’s a feat made possible through the use of an accessible, cloud-based commerce platform. “The idea of a common, cloud-based, real-time commerce platform for all customer engagement points is a key tenet of unified commerce,” he says. “A unified commerce platform combines POS, mobile, web, order management, call centre and clienteling into one common integrated platform, which enables a holistic and seamless customer experience no matter how, when or where they shop with a retailer.”

And, Bunk adds, having the right technology in place can transform the customer experience even behind the scenes, through providing up-to-the moment inventory management, targeted recommendations based on data, and allowing for more nimble supply chains. “Unified commerce not only offers a unified view of customer and inventory data, but also offers retailers the ability to provide ‘endless aisle’ capabilities and the ability to ‘save the sale’ by selling merchandise from – or to – any channels,” he says. “Cross-channel inventory availability can reduce inventory management costs and enhance customer service by giving customers further purchasing options.”

And, as both Bunk and Hetu point out, a cohesive unified commerce strategy isn’t just for the big retailers. Not only will the large-scale changes required be simpler for small and mid-size businesses, but those same businesses could also run the greatest risk of being left behind. With consumer expectations constantly evolving, and retailers competing for ever-more elaborate ways of enhancing the customer experience, Bunk argues that the time for unified commerce is now.

“The store of the future will require a personal, mobile, relevant, ubiquitous and secure environment to meet rising customer expectations,” he explains. “Retailers need to operate in real-time, with customer and product information accessible across the enterprise—this necessitates cloud-based applications and a reliable, responsive network. Defining what you want your customer experience to be is key. Having the journey defined allows a retailer to deliver components of the journey based on business value and impact. Developing these components using modern technology and with a holistic view will allow the successful retailer of tomorrow to adapt as consumer expectations continue to evolve.”

Read Full Article: Unification Nation – Unified commerce transforming the retail customer experience

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: 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

56% of Consumers are Likely to Choose a Retailer who Offers a Shared Cart Across Channels, According to New BRP Report

Only 7% of retailers are able to provide a shared cart across channels

Boston, MA – March 12, 2019 – According to BRP’s SPECIAL REPORT: Real-Time Retail, 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 – they want to “start anywhere and finish anywhere.” In BRP’s Consumer Study, 56% 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.

The importance of real-time visibility and access to product and customer information across channels has grown significantly over the past few years as consumers’ expectations continue to rise. Today’s retail model has to venture beyond omni-channel by breaking down the walls between internal channel silos and leveraging a common commerce platform with a single order management system to deliver a holistic, real-time, personal, seamless experience.

Real-time retail is the ability to deliver this seamless and personalized experience to the customer whenever, wherever and however she chooses to shop. It enables retailers to identify the customer and gather, analyze and disseminate customer, product, pricing and inventory data across all channels – instantly.

“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 Ken Morris, principal, BRP. “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. 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.”

BRP’s SPECIAL REPORT: Real-Time Retailis based on findings from the BRP Consumer Study and the 2019 POS/Customer Engagement Surveyand offers insights into how real-time access to inventory and customer data is imperative to deliver a seamless, personalized customer experience.

The SPECIAL REPORT: Real-Time Retail highlights:

SEAMLESS EXPERIENCE:

  • Customer expectations:56% are likely to shop at a retailer that offers a shared cart across channels
  • Retailer capabilities:7% offer the ability for customers to have a shared cart across channels

PERSONALIZATION:

  • Customer expectations:87% want a personalized and consistent experience across all shopping channels
  • Retailer capabilities:53% indicate that personalization of the customer experience is a top priority

To download BRP’s SPECIAL REPORT: Real-Time Retail, visit:

https://brpconsulting.com/download/2019-special-report-real-time-retail

The special report platinum sponsor is TSYS, the gold sponsors are Aptos,Diebold Nixdorf, ECRSand Fujitsu, and the silver sponsor is STORIS.

About BRP

BRP is an innovative retail management consulting firm dedicated to providing superior service and enduring value to our clients. BRP combines its consultants’ deep retail business knowledge and cross-functional capabilities to deliver superior design and implementation of strategy, technology, and process solutions. The firm’s unique combination of industry focus, knowledge-based approach, and rapid, end-to-end solution deployment helps clients to achieve their business potential. BRP’s consulting services include:

Strategy | Business Intelligence | Business Process Optimization | Point of Sale (POS)
Mobile POS | Payment Security | E-Commerce | Store Systems and Operations | CRM
Unified Commerce | Customer Experience | Order Management | Networks
Merchandise Management | Supply Chain | Private Equity

For more information on BRP, visit http://www.brpconsulting.com.

Consumers Choose Retailers that Offer a Personalized Experience

Offering a personalized service requires identification of customers as soon as they walk in the store, but only 37% of retailers are able to identify their customers before checkout.

Customers want to shop wherever and whenever they want with the benefits of both the digital and physical retail environments. As consumers “check-in” on retailers’ e-commerce and mobile sites, they automatically receive personalized offers and recommendations based on their purchase and browsing history. However, most shoppers are still anonymous when shopping in a physical store so they don’t get the same level of personalized service.

We recently conducted our 20thAnnual POS/Customer Engagement Survey and compared our findings on retailer capabilities with consumer expectations from the BRP Consumer Study (report coming soon!) to identify gaps between customer expectations and retailers’ capabilities. BRP’s SPECIAL REPORT: Personalization gives you a closer look at what consumers expect from their shopping experience and what retailers can currently offer.

Our study found that 79% of consumers indicated that personalized service from a sales associate was an important factor in determining at which store they choose to shop. Consumers understand that receiving personalized service requires retailers to identify them. While this has been the normal standard online or via mobile, identifying the customer in the store is a little more difficult and not as common.

Most retailers who identify customers in the store use the customers’ mobile phone as the identification tool paired with a combination of beacons, WiFi, MAC address, etc. While 64% of consumers are comfortable with retailers identifying them via their mobile phone when they enter a store, as long as it means they are offered a personalized experience, only 37% of retailers are able to identify their customers prior to checkout.

Customer identification is a requirement for any type of personalization of the shopping experience and if a retailer can’t identify the customer until she is at the checkout then it’s too late to empower the associate to influence the current purchase decision. Without early identification of the customer, retailers miss critical engagement opportunities to deliver a personalized customer experience and increase sales. And in today’s crowded and highly competitive market, personalization is a critical component for optimizing the customer’s shopping experience.

The customer has spoken and she wants a personalized shopping experience in the store, how are you going to provide her that experience? Download the report now to understand how retailers are measuring up to consumer expectations.

I appreciate your opinions on this topic.  Please share your thoughts and comments below.

Ken

Survey: Personalized Engagement Tops Retailers’ Must-Do List

HFN – Engaging customers with personalized and relevant messages are the keys to customer loyalty, according to the BRP 20th annual POS/Customer Engagement Benchmark Survey.

“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, a retail consulting firm.

“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,” said Kramer, who noted that 63 percent of retailers plan to implement the ability for customers to use their own mobile device as a POS device within three years.

Read Full Article: Survey: Personalized Engagement Tops Retailers’ Must-Do List

Luxury retailers need to compete with mass brands in personalization: report

Luxury Daily – Personalization in a bricks-and-mortar experience has become just as important as it is in digital, and with mass consumers expecting an elevated individualized experience, luxury brands need to work harder at delivering customized retail.

A new survey from Boston Retail Partners shows that 79 percent of consumers believe that a personalized experience from a sales associate is an important driving factor in deciding where to shop. More than half of all retailers are focusing on personalization within stores for 2019, making it more important for luxury brands to heighten their customer service.

“A key takeaway from this year’s POS survey is that retail continues to rapidly evolve, with consumers as the catalyst and their constantly increasing expectations for a better shopping experience, including more personalization and an improved mobile experience,” said Brian Brunk, principal at BRP. “In the uber-competitive retail environment, retailers need to adapt quickly to new customer expectations.

Read Full Article: Luxury retailers need to compete with mass brands in personalization: report

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