Today’s consumer is always connected and always on. The advent of the Internet and mobile phones has created a new 24/7/365 world of shopping that has forever changed customer expectations and the traditional retail model. Consumers now expect retailers to provide service anytime, anywhere and any way they want it or the customer will simply move on to the competition.
Consumers now start and stop their shopping journey in different channels and frequently shop for the same product across different retailers, via mobile, online or in-store. The path to purchase also varies by consumer and the type of product being purchased. Customers expect a frictionless shopping experience across an entire brand and they don’t want disruptions as they cross individual channels or locations. The experience must be seamless as the customer’s “shopping cart” and browsing history follow her throughout her journey.
The growth of digital – both online and mobile – is driving demand for increased digital capabilities bundled with personalization in the store. To survive, retailers must undergo a transformation requiring a true unified commerce approach. This approach delivers the convergence of the digital and physical shopping experiences to create a holistic customer shopping experience.
Fortunately, many retailers realize this need and are prioritizing the improvement of the customer experience. In this year’s Unified Commerce Survey retailers’ top unified commerce priorities were to create a consistent brand experience across channels (59%) by improving the online experience (52%), improving personalization (45%), and improving the mobile shopping experience (41%). Retailers realize that the online experience is a big part of their customers’ shopping experience, but delivering on customer expectations means not only improving what customers see, but also everything behind the scenes that is required to provide a seamless customer experience across all channels.
To learn more about the gap between customer expectations and retailer capabilities and see where retailers are focusing their efforts, I urge you to read BRP’s recent SPECIAL REPORT: The E-commerce Effect.
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