MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Survey: Nearly all consumers are omni-channel shoppers

BY Marianne Wilson

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.

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S.Krishnan says:
May-08-2014 02:38 pm

http://bit.ly/1hrViqk
Interesting details from the survey. Customers certainly look to their comfort zone when it comes to shopping and retailers adopting a multichannel approach will do well in gaining customer satisfaction. Also leveraging new and innovative technologies will go a long way in ensuring the desired results are met. I work for McGladrey and there's a whitepaper on our website that offers good information on the above topic that readers of this article will find interesting " The one constant in retail is change " @ http://bit.ly/1hrViqk

S.Krishnan says:
May-08-2014 02:38 pm

Interesting details from the survey. Customers certainly look to their comfort zone when it comes to shopping and retailers adopting a multichannel approach will do well in gaining customer satisfaction. Also leveraging new and innovative technologies will go a long way in ensuring the desired results are met. I work for McGladrey and there's a whitepaper on our website that offers good information on the above topic that readers of this article will find interesting " The one constant in retail is change " @ http://bit.ly/1hrViqk

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Square Trade names Bain exec SVP

BY CSA STAFF

Protection plan provider SquareTrade launched a major program with Sam’s Club last week and this week the company named a former private equity executive to lead its North American business.

Raj Kapoor, a former Bain Capital executive, joined SquareTrade as SVP of North America to lead business development, field sales operations and business process teams.

"I am thrilled to have Raj focused on the methodical innovation and execution that fuels growth with our partners," said Steve Abernethy, SquareTrade’s president and CEO. "Raj has been an extended member of our leadership team since Bain Capital’s investment, and is a proven talent that knows SquareTrade’s business very deeply already. It’s great to have him on board full-time."

Prior to joining SquareTrade, Kapoor spent more than five years as an executive in Bain Capital’s private equity portfolio group, where he worked with SquareTrade and other portfolio companies on strategic and operational value creation initiatives. Earlier in his career, Raj held a variety of marketing and product management roles at Microsoft, as well as at Beyond.com, a pioneer in digital software delivery and e-commerce services. He began his career in Accenture’s strategy consulting practice, working with clients in technology, consumer/retail, and financial services. He holds a B.A. from Cornell University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

"SquareTrade has incredible momentum and I am excited to join a company that is firing on all cylinders,” Kapoor said. "SquareTrade’s innovative model and customer-centric approach have changed the way the world thinks about warranties.”

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Top ops exec departs RadioShack

BY CSA STAFF

Troy Risch resigned his position EVP of store operations at RadioShack the company disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday.

RadioShack had previously announced plans to close approximately 1,100 stores in its most extreme action to date as part of a turnaround strategy. The closure plan reportedly hit a snag last week when RadioShack lenders objected to the move. Disruption of the closure plan combined with the departure of the company’s top operations executive this week caused shares of RadioSchack to sink to $1.34 on Tuesday, April 22, near the 52 week low set the prior week.

Risch spent 16 months at the troubled electronics retailer and his hiring in January 2013 was seen as somewhat of a coup since had spent 19 years at Target in various operations roles including EVP of stores.

Risch joined RadioShack under the leadership of former interim CEO Dorvin Lively. However, roughly a month after Risch was hired RadioShack named former Duane Reade and Walgreens executive Joe Magnacca president and CEO to replace Lively.

As is often the case in such situations, the arrival of Risch was heralded in a triumphant press release as he was seen as a key member of the executive team that was to help RadioShack become relevant again. News of his departure was more sedate and came via a two sentence statement in a regulatory filing submitted on April 22 which noted Risch had resigned the previous Friday.

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