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Why are retailers struggling to keep up with omnichannel expectations?


Posted on 13/10/2016 by Rosie Ordman

With the technology available to us today, we are able to shop at any time we want, across all of our devices, wherever we are! This one-click purchase culture has led to market of highly demanding consumers; we want it all and we want it now.

In response to this, retailers are expanding their service offering by investing heavily in processes and technology, utilising multiple channels to meet the needs of their customers and to keep ahead of their competitors.

Retailers must meet the heightened expectations on the modern consumer but can they keep up with the pace of the increased demand of omnichannel?

Unfortunately, retailers are failing to keep their brand promises, falling short on delivering the desired omnichannel experience.

What are the reasons for this?

  • Many retailers don’t have access to the experience or the tools they need to transform consumer online behaviour from browsing to buying.

  • Retailers are yet to master the seamless experience of getting products to customers in each channel through lack of internal coordination and failure to get the whole operation up to speed with new processes.

  • Poor data quality and a lack of customer analytics means that retailers are unable to fully understand their customers to customise each channel to consumer behaviours and needs.

  • Retailers caught up in the omnichannel era risk losing sight of what works in their bricks and mortar stores. A physical presence remains highly significant to retail sales; 42% of consumers search for information online before making their purchase in a bricks and mortar store.

  • Consumers are not only demanding more from their omnichannel experience through the buying process but also the process of returning a product. Retailers must have the infrastructure and technology in place to deal with the process of reverse logistics.

How can these issues be tackled?

1. Integrate channels

Beyond having a strong online and offline presence in numerous channels, retailers should be thinking about how the different channels affect each other and try to ensure consistency and a clear message across all of them. In-store and online teams can be integrated to help deliver a more consistent shopping experience.

2. Utilize data

3rd party data services and new technologies are available to gain deeper consumer insights and build consumer profiles around their behaviours and preferences.

3. Track, analyse and improve

Businesses have access to more tools than ever for tracking campaigns. The more that retailers understand their consumer needs, the better they can tailor their omnichannel service to drive loyalty from their customers.

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