Survey: Retailers lag meeting key omnichannel expectations

A new survey from Boston Retail Partners (BRP) reveals that retailers are behind in adopting several critical omnichannel capabilities.

According to BRP’s 2019 Unified Commerce Survey, 87% of consumers are interested in a personalized and consistent experience across channels. However, only 71% of retailers plan to offer the ability to “start the sale anywhere, finish the sale anywhere” to their customers.

Similarly, while 68% of consumers would choose a store that offers personalized promotions/discounts over a store that doesn’t offer them, a matching 68% of retailers need to improve their ability to utilize customer insight to meet their customers’ expectations.

About two-thirds (64%) of consumers choose a store based on product information availability via their mobile device. But only 41% of retailers plan to improve the mobile experience to ensure they are meeting their customers’ expectations.

Furthermore, while 57% of consumers would choose a store offering an automated returns process over one that doesn’t offer it, only 38% of retailers plan to offer an automated returns process within two years to offer more self-service opportunities.

Other key findings include:
• 81% of consumers purchase online at least once per month.
• 89% of consumers browse online at least once per month.
• 71% of retailers plan to offer a live chat option on their website to enhance the online shopping experience within two years.

“The growth of online and mobile is driving the demand for increased digital capabilities bundled with personalization across all channels,” said Perry Kramer, senior VP and practice lead at BRP. “To succeed in this demanding environment, retailers must undergo a transformation as they move to a true unified commerce approach to deliver the convergence of the digital and physical shopping experiences and create a holistic customer shopping experience.”