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Retailers face cross-channel challenge amidst rising demand of personalised shopping experience

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Customers today expect a frictionless shopping experience across all channels, both online and in a bricks and mortar store. For some customers, the reality can be frustrating when preferences and past activities are not seamlessly connected across all channels, finds The Power of Omnichannel report from Criteo conducted in partnership with IMRG .

Some 46% of UK shoppers say they receive an inconsistent shopping experience from retailers when shopping across multiple channels, according to the research, for which Toluna surveyed 1,000 UK adults to understand how they rate their shopping experiences. At the same time, the study has revealed a solution to delivering a joined-up experience that many customers desire; with 50% of buyers stating that retailers should retain their information to send bespoke deals and offers, while 38% would like them to use the information to make the whole experience more personalised and seamless with automated delivery options and a record of preferred payment methods. However, 18% of shoppers don’t want retailers to store any information on them at all, which presents a clear hurdle to cross for retailers who want to translate that desired customer service across the full spectrum of consumer touchpoints.

The report goes on to say that retailers understand the importance of connecting previously siloed channels. In fact, 72% of retailers report that they are actively pursuing a cross-challenge strategy as a key business priority. In order to remain relevant, retailers must abandon orthodox strategies and leverage the data to deliver a true personalised omnichannel experience.

“The only way to deliver against shoppers’ expectations is through the effective collection, use, integration, and optimation of online and offline,” commented John Gillan, managing director, UK and Northern Europe at Criteo. “The businesses that innovate their use and data to gain a more complete view of their shopper will survive and thrive in this new world.”

Andy Mulcahy, strategy and insight director at IMRG, said: “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. 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.”



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