Boris is more popular than ever. No, the mop-top bumbler of UK politics isn’t about to seize power, but Buy Online, Return in Store (Boris) is becoming a growing trend among omni-channel retailers, as is mobile optimisation.
So finds the Omni-2000 Research: Global research from OrderDynamics, which has talked to 2000 retailers around the world and found that omni-channel retailing is on the up, with mobile becoming increasingly important as part of a shift towards BORIS and click and collect.
According to the survey, 72.6% of omni-channel retailers offer Boris, while 37.6% offer click and collect and 11.4% have mobile-optimised their websites to help act as a ‘remote control’ for these shoppers.
For the second year in a row, the UK is the leading country in click & collect, with 64% of retailers offering the service. Consistent with last year’s Omni-1000 results, the US lags, ranking lowest of the countries assessed, with only 27.5% of retailers providing Boris.
More than 69% of consumers acknowledge having tried omni-channel retailing and would like to see more of it. As such, retailers are missing an opportunity for promotion. Further, only 57.1% of retailers offering the service advertise it on their website’s front page.
More troubling, the study also finds that less than half of retailers provide shoppers with access to basic inventory visibility. Out of the 2000-plus retailers quizzed, only a shocking 38.1% show basic inventory visibility on product pages. A strict like-for-like, year-over-year comparison found a 30.7% drop in active online inventory visibility. This is a concerning drop in an industry experiencing so much change. Passive inventory visibility is a factor in this drop. Unlike active inventory visibility, a passive approach only signals when a good is out of stock.
“To increase sales and retain customers, omni-channel retailers today need to provide customers with clarity,” comments Nick McLean, CEO, OrderDynamics. “The Omni-2000 reveals where retailers are strong, and other areas where they are lacking across a variety of metrics. Whether it is low stock visibility or general service awareness about cross-channel fulfillment, these are opportunities to get closer to what drives customer demand. OrderDynamics hopes retailers can use these benchmarks to improve their own businesses.”