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Retailers “not prepared to address demands of tomorrow’s consumers”, warns Demandware

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Retailers are not prepared to meet the demands of the new breed of Smart Consumers who use multiple, web-enabled touch points to interact with brands, warns on-demand e-commerce provider Demandware. The company highlights a gap between the touch points that retailers are currently offering, and the ways in which consumers expect to interact with brands now and in the future.

“While 87% of the retailers we surveyed acknowledged they have to improve their existing multi-channel capabilities to serve today’s consumers, only half believe that their organizations must change dramatically,” says Jamus Driscoll, vice president of marketing, Demandware. “Our research suggests that all retailers must embrace new technologies and significantly change the way they approach multichannel commerce if they plan to meet or exceed web-savvy consumers’ heightened expectations.”

The gap in what multi-channel brand experiences consumers expect and what retailers are providing was strikingly illustrated throughout Demandware’s research. Examples include:

• Only 12% of retailers allow consumers to download a retail or brand shopping application, while 23% of consumers are currently doing this and 50% plan to do it in the future

• 54% of consumers would like the ability to click on barcodes or smart tags in magazines or catalogs that link to websites, but only 12% of the retailers surveyed currently offer this feature

• While 62% of consumers say they intend to purchase products or services on mobile websites or apps, only 32% of retailers currently enable this

• Only 29% of retailers allow consumers to use their mobile phones to check in-store product availability, yet 38% of shoppers do this now and 52% expect to do it in the future

• 23% of retailers allow consumers to add items to their carts via mobile phones and complete the transaction later on computer or tablet, but 51% of consumers would like to be able to do this

“This research should put brands on notice that the traditional, channel-centric, transaction-based approach to commerce is no longer enough. Smart Consumers are demanding unified, highly branded experiences across all touch points,” Driscoll continued. “Brands that don’t marry consumers’ growing expectations with their own operational realities will struggle to compete and thrive in the evolving commerce market.”
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