Study: Retailers still need to bridge gap between digital, physical touchpoints

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Study: Retailers still need to bridge gap between digital, physical touchpoints

By Deena M. Amato-McCoy - 08/04/2017

DALLAS — Despite retailers’ efforts to deliver sophisticated shopping experiences, crucial gaps between digital and in-store touchpoints still exist.


That's according to “The State of Omnichannel Commerce: A Mystery Shopping Study.” The report, from Kibo, assessed the personalization and omnichannel sophistication across 30 popular and growing retailers’ desktop, mobile and in-store buying touchpoints.


While retailers are making progress in their journey toward an omnichannel reality, there are still several gaps across even the most mature companies. Among the areas that are in need of improvement include fulfillment and inventory, personalization, pricing consistency and in-store signage.


When it comes to fulfillment and inventory, 87% of retailers provided a product locator on their website, yet only 35% displayed quantity of inventory available. A majority (97%) of store associates could access inventory levels.


Of these associates, 66% had to be at a terminal behind the counter, and only one-third utilized handheld or mobile technology to provide a seamless experience. While 24% could locate inventory, they could not place the order for the shopper, data revealed.


Seventy percent (70%) of personalized experiences were successful on an e-commerce site only when the shopper was logged into an account.


Meanwhile, 4-in-10 retailers did not send an email following an abandoned cart. Of those retailers that did send an email, none offered an incentive to purchase. And 4-in-10 retailers did not display recently visited items on a website upon a consumer’s return visit.


When analyzing pricing consistency, 16% of retailers had inconsistent pricing between the store and their e-commerce site.


And although a majority of retailers had signage promoting omnichannel offerings and guiding in-store foot traffic, 37% are missing the opportunity to streamline the in-store shopping experience with basic communication, according to data.


"This year, we have identified crucial gaps across digital and in-store buying touchpoints that can significantly improve the shopping experience," said Tushar Patel, chief marketing officer, Kibo. "These include some of the basics: personalization for all shoppers — known and unknown — with more relevant recommendations and promotions, and allowing access to inventory information across the entire buying journey with the ability to place an order efficiently."


Patel added that retailers that close these gaps will be the winners of tomorrow’s retail industry, while those who do not take action will risk long-term sales growth and customer loyalty.


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