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Retailers lack omnichannel consistency

By Retail Technology | Thursday September 22 2016

New research suggests damaging inconsistencies in the omnichannel shopping experience of customers

The first Omnico Retail Gap Barometer explored the interactions 1200 consumers’ had with retailers across the channels they offer, the stock visibility and promotions they deliver and the fulfilment methods they provide.

Only 4% of consumers believe retailers know what they like when shopping via a particular channel although overall consumers awarded 72 points out of 100 for the quality of their experience across every type of interaction with retailers. 

However, the survey revealed that levels of customer satisfaction drop as a retailer employs more channels. Although 62% of consumers said they had a seamless experience more than once across online and in-store, this fell to 39% when mobile applications, phone and social media were included. Customers have high expectations that each touchpoint will be quick and convenient, with 74% of respondents saying these are the most important factors in deciding which channel to use.

The survey shows that, despite retailers’ investment in multiple channels, traditional in-store shopping remains the most popular retail option, selected by 43% of respondents. Only 9% of respondents favoured the option of buying online and collecting in a third-party location such as a train station, supermarket etc.  

“Shoppers now expect to hop between online and physical stores and have the same experience across every channel,” said Mel Taylor, CEO, Omnico Group. “While the overall score in our survey suggests a glowing picture, the details show shoppers today are frustrated by the service they’re receiving. While it’s clear that the store experience is still king, many retailers are then diluting the quality of the experience they offer as they expand into more channels and touchpoints.”

In addition, retailers are failing to provide the levels of stock visibility across channels that customers now require. 49% of consumers, for example, said visibility of stock in stores if products are unavailable online was no better than very poor-to-average.

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