Only one in two people (56%) in the UK say they ‘always’ or ‘usually’ receive a joined up, consistent and seamless experience when shopping across multiple channels both online and in-store.
The research, by Criteo in partnership with the UK e-retail industry association IMRG and conducted by Toluna, surveyed 1,000 UK consumers to understand how they rate their shopping experiences. The findings are available as part of The Power of Omnichannel in Online Retail report released today.
The research results highlight the importance of identifying and connecting consumers across devices and environments in response to the ever-evolving shopper behaviour. With the path to purchase now made up of multiple devices as well as in-store, having a high quality omnichannel experience is essential. But for some shoppers, the reality can be frustrating when preferences or past activities are not seamlessly connected across channels.
Using data in a smart and personalised way is key to delivering this joined up experience. The Criteo and IMRG research found that only 18% of shoppers don’t want retailers to store any information on them at all, yet despite this and even though retailers want to deliver a consistent customer experience, some are struggling to translate that desire into reality across the full spectrum of consumer touchpoints.
Almost half of respondents stated that they believe retailers should be using their information to send bespoke deals and offers, while 38% want brands to make their whole experience easier by remembering preferred payment methods or automating delivery information.
“Today’s findings are indicative of the complex nature of modern shopping and the challenges facing retailers to connect previously siloed channels. Consumers today expect an exceptional experience, both online and in-store. This expectation has retailers scrambling to deliver on the promise of omnichannel,” says John Gillan, MD, UK and Northern Europe, Criteo. “The only way to deliver against shoppers’ expectations is through the effective collection, use, integration, and optimisation of online and offline data. The businesses that innovate their use of data to gain a more complete view of their shopper will survive and thrive in this new world.”
Retailers understand the importance of delivering a true omnichannel experience. 72% are actively pursuing a cross-channel strategy as a key business priority as they realise that in order to remain relevant, they need to ensure a seamless service for shoppers no matter what the channel is. Leveraging data is key to delivering a true personalised omnichannel experience.
“Shoppers continually demonstrate a willingness to try out the latest connected technology – and they are perfectly comfortable using multiple devices to access retail sites, depending on which is the most convenient to the context of their interaction” commented Andy Mulcahy, strategy and insight director at IMRG. “The challenge for retailers is around understanding how these cross-channel journeys relate so that the experience a customer gets is consistent, accurate and relevant however they choose to engage. There is still evidently distance to go here, with only 9% of respondents to our survey saying they ‘always’ get a consistent experience when engaging with retailers through various means.”