Ann Arbor, Mich. -- These days, virtually everyone is a cross-channel shopper: 95% of consumers frequently or occasionally shop a retailer's website and store, according to a recent survey by CFI Group that was sponsored by eBay Enterprise.
The study, “Omni-Channel Insights,” reveals that consumers expect exceptional service, while having the convenience of seamless in-store and online shopping.
"With consumers wanting more options when shopping, especially within the realm of cross-channel shopping, it is important for retailers to increase their customer service standards both online and in-store," said Terry Redding, VP of marketing and product development. "Tactics such as staying consistent across channels with stock as well as coordinated cross-channel promotions will help consumers stay loyal to a brand, and stores will gain higher customer satisfaction rates."
The study makes it clear that consumers want convenience. Almost all consumers want to be able to return online orders to local stores, or make a purchase online and be able to pick-up that purchase in a local store. Seventy-eight percent of consumers consider in-store pickup of online orders important, while nearly half consider it extremely important.
The persistence of consumers when it comes to out-of-stock and back-ordered items was revealed by the report. Consumers may want a product, but may not be willing to wait for it for very long. Of those surveyed, 47% say they may wait for the products to come back in stock depending on how long it will take the retailer to fulfill a request. Consumers indicated if they want a product badly enough they would not have a problem contacting the retailer's customer service or contact centers to check on local in-store availability. Not only is in-store availability important to a consumer, but the demand of cross-channel inventory weighs-in heavily as well.
The report finds that 56% of consumers will continue shopping with a retailer as long as they receive the best price offered – regardless of channel. What consumers are really paying attention to is the lack of consistent/informed information across channels. Consumers expect store associates to be knowledgeable on all channel promotions, similarly, they expect contact center agents to be aware of both in-store and online promotions and offerings. Consumers revealed that when they asked questions of one channel about the other, 75% of respondents indicate they get incorrect information at least occasionally, if not frequently.