Our partners iVend have released strong research, examining consumer attitudes to the omnichannel experience (or lack thereof). 1,000 consumers were surveyed across five European countries, exploring the failures of retailers to connect on and offline shopping experiences. 72% of European consumers still do more of their shopping in store but the experience online is often more positive. While retailers have a good understanding of individual consumers’ behaviour online, they become strangers when they walk into a bricks-and-mortar store. While eCommerce is agile due to its age and retail can struggle to retro-fit long-standing setup, there are benefits that can be integrated into the bricks-and-mortar experience. While retailers are constantly working to achieve a fully optimised omnichannel store, it’s important to remember that consumers don’t think in terms of channels, so they don’t act in channels either. Consumers think about retailers as one store and the experience a retailer creates should reflect this viewpoint. Over half of those surveyed (56%), felt it would be beneficial for retailers to have a clear view of them across all channels, so as to become more targetted and relevant to them.
While retailers are constantly working to achieve a fully optimised omnichannel store, it’s important to remember that consumers don’t think in terms of channels, so they don’t act in channels either. Consumers think about retailers as one store and the experience a retailer creates should reflect this viewpoint. Over half of those surveyed (56%), felt it would be beneficial for retailers to have a clear view of them across all channels, so as to become more targetted and relevant to them.
68% of shoppers surveyed research a product online at least once before heading to their local store.
The predicted mass closure of bricks-and-mortar stores did occur as eCommerce increased in popularity. In fact, stores are the only place where consumers can see, touch and interact with purchases before buying and therefore, have an important part to play in the sales cycle. eCommerce actually drives footfall in-store (in some cases), because consumers are researching products online but making the final purchase in store. However, the in-store experience is lacking a personal touch and shop assistants are failing to serve the needs of these more knowledgeable consumers who have clear goals in mind.
Retailers have the ability build a clear picture of the online consumer, understanding their browsing habits, purchase history, location and habits. A marketing strategy is then designed around this information to meet the needs of that individual. Consumers are now increasingly looking for this same experience offline, driving by online expectations.
1 in 5 shoppers would like sales assistants to personalise the store experience.
With the right information, sales assistants can offer in-store consumers product recommendations based on previous transactions, cross-selling or up-selling opportunities in a relevant and timely manner, extending the product availability beyond the shelf edge and placing orders online for customers. This is where store technology plays a crucial role – the integration of EPOS with operational information, such as stock availability and location, or customer purchasing history, empowers staff in-store to off the consumer more.
Loyalty is Easier Online
Every action a consumer makes when shopping online is logged and stores, so as to offer an improved service on the next occasion. This wealth of information is not being connected to the in-store experience. The key to maintaining a long term relationship with your customer is to value and reward consumers based upon their purchasing history. How can we do this, without being able to record offline sales and behaviour? Furthermore, the high-value customers that we wish to cultivate and nurture are lost in the offline environment without proper tracking and technology. These gaps in knowledge can cost you customers and decrease average spend.
1 in 5 consumers have forgotten to use a paper voucher before it expires
Integrating the online with offline stores is fundamental to winning the hearts, minds and wallets of retailers. Technology is the missing link between the physical advantages of bricks-and-mortar stores and the digital flexibility of eCommerce. If your retail enterprise is looking to grow, why not contact a member of our team to discuss the benefits of a truly connected omnichannel experience and the options available to your enterprise.