Omnichannel Retail Experiences?


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eMarketer published some fascinating data from Time Trade, which just published a State of Retail 2016 report to coincide with the NRF Big Show event. There’s a ton of interesting data in that study, but eMarketer zeroed in on a specific topic – the promise and reality of truly consistent omnichannel shopping experiences.

The eMarketer piece juxtaposed the opinions of retail execs and their shoppers on the extent to which they believe that retailers provide a consistent customer experience across all channels. Data are from December, 2015.

The study revealed that while 51% of retail decision makers answered a full yes, and 44% said somewhat, consumers were a bit less rosy in their assessment. Specifically, 25% of shoppers said yes, and 55% answered somewhat. See the chart below.

Omnichannel Customer Experience

Certainly, the retailer assessment is more optimistic. But to me the larger story is in how focused both retailers and consumers are in the value of consistent cross-channel experience.

That was really borne out in the survey when retailers were asked about the benefits of delivering consistent omnichannel experience. Data show that 68% of US and UK retailers say omnichannel shopping experiences have been advantageous to sales, up 11 points from two years ago.

That’s great news because it signals how far we’ve come from the channel-centric approach that many retailer’s used to take – with distinct teams for each platform and insufficient partnering across groups. Now it appears that they are doing a much better job at integrating the essentials of retail experience.

Apps, of course, can play a key role here, both because of their popularity and in their customizability and delivery of consistent user experience. They can provide fantastic utility both inside and outside the store. Which is why more and more retailers are making them a part of their integrated omnichannel shopping experiences.

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