Twice as many shoppers now expect online personalisation to be mirrored in-store compared to a year ago

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Disconnected bricks-and-mortar experiences continue to disappoint omni-channel shoppers, a new report from iVend Retail, a leading global retail solution brand, suggests.

The report – ‘Omni Progress: Are stores getting better at delivering connected retail experiences?’ – reveals that, despite retailers’ efforts to integrate the omni-channel experience, consumers are still disappointed by in-store encounters when compared to online.

While 20% fewer UK shoppers felt that the store was outdated compared to online shopping than they did a year ago (20% in 2015; 16% in 2016), it seems retailers still have work to do when it comes to better integrating their on- and off-line offerings.  The report identified two key areas where consumers felt there was the greatest room for improvement when it came to digitalising bricks–and-mortar: personalisation and convenience.

Accustomed to the high levels of personalisation they receive online, 59% of UK consumers felt that e-commerce experiences were more personal than those that take place in the store.  Almost twice as many consumers now expect online personalisation to be mirrored in the physical environment when compared to a year ago (27% in 2016 compared to just 13% in 2015).

Increasingly, connected consumers want retailers to have a single view of them, which holistically captures their value across all channels. This year, 18% of UK shoppers want retailers to leverage online data to provide a more tailored in-store experience, and 71% of UK consumers said they would happily share their purchasing history with a retailer if it meant they would receive a more customised experience in the store.

With 86% of UK consumers saying ecommerce was more convenient than bricks-and-mortar, shoppers want in-store experiences to be in line with the ease and speed with which they can shop online.  While retailers have sought to drive levels of convenience with the implementation of online services, such as click-and-collect, customers were still experiencing frictions, such as long queues times for collecting parcels (12%).

“The store is the channel that needs to multi-task the most,” said Kamal Karmakar, CEO of iVend Retail.  “Today bricks-and-mortar is so much more than a point of transaction, it is a customer service centre, a fulfilment hub, an inspiration station, a validation point and a delivery location – and it will be different things to different shoppers depending on the stage that they are at in their purchasing journey.”

“Connected customers don’t separate channels, so retailers must ensure fluidity and visibility between them to better integrate the role of the store in omnichannel shopping experiences,” he concluded.

For more information on how retailers can reinvigorate bricks-and-mortar’s role within an omnichannel strategy, download the report in full by visiting: https://ivend.com/download-omnichannel-research-report-2017-eu/