Study: The omnichannel features customers most want are…

Consumers desire a specific omnichannel shopping capability, but few retailers offer it.

According to “Special Report: Real-Time Retail,” a new study from Boston Retail Partners (BRP), 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.

In addition, the study finds:

• 66% of customers are likely to choose a store if it offers visibility across channels – 70% of retailers have real-time inventory visibility, but 41% of those need improvement.
• 82% of consumers have shopped and reviewed products online and then purchased in a store (webrooming).
• 56% have shopped in a store and purchased online or via mobile (showrooming).
• 45% have shopped in a store and purchased via catalog (catalogrooming).
• 57% of retailers offer in-store WiFi, 18% plan to within two years.
• 45% of retailers offer customer-facing in-store WiFi, 25% plan to within two years.
• 48% of retailers have implemented a unified commerce platform that allows easier real-time data access across channels, 46% plan to within the next one to three years.

“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 Retail” is based on findings from the BRP Consumer Study and the 2019 POS/Customer Engagement Survey.