More than half (52%) of shoppers in the UK believe that retailers need to offer a more seamless experience between online and offline commerce to retain their custom.
This was one of the key findings from a survey of 1,000 shoppers, conducted by leading full service e-commerce agency, PushON, which stated that retailers should invest in technology that enables a better omnichannel experience.
For more than 82% of the public, shopping in a bricks and mortar store is preferential to purchasing online because products can be viewed before a commitment is made to buy. This opinion was supported by 45%, who stated they feel more reassured that they’re making the right decision when shopping in store, compared to buying online.
In terms of what would increase shoppers’ trust in buying from an online store, 40% of consumers highlighted AR technology as a desired feature. This was due to the ability to virtually test out a product, mirroring the real-life experience.
In addition, 32% would like to use online services, such as AI chatbots, to enable them instant answers to their questions. Again, reflecting the in-store experience.
Sam Rutley, managing director of PushON, explains: “It’s clear from our research that in order for shoppers to part with their money online, they must receive the same level of reassurance that they would in a bricks and mortar store. Without the physical ability for customers to experience the tactile nature of a product or to obtain advice from a sales assistant, online retailers must provide the virtual ‘next best thing’ through the implementation of technology.
Rutley concludes: “From AR enabling a 360 degree view of a product, to AI chatbots allowing for questions to be answered in real-time, brands can now accurately reflect the service provided by a physical store to ensure that they don’t miss out on custom from either entity.”