According to a survey by consulting firm Accenture, consumers demand that retailers make cross-channel shopping easier. Consumers are using multiple channels in which to shop for products; some view a catalog, but then make their purchase online, and some browse the internet prior to shopping in store. Shopping behavior depends upon the product being purchased, but nevertheless, consumers are cross-channel shopping and retailers need to make it easy for them. Accenture points out that 73% of consumers expect retailers to offer the same prices online as in stores and 43% of shoppers expect the same product assortment regardless if they shop online or in store. How frustrating is it to see pricing online for a product and then you visit the store only to find out that the price is for online purchases only! Or better yet, you see the product online and then they don't carry it in stores. This happens much too often. Cross-channel consumers want seamless interaction with a brand whether they shop online, in-store, or on a mobile device.
If retailers don't have a 'seamless' strategy this year, consumers are clearly going to be disappointed! Let's review a few interesting stats that were found:
- 49% think "Integrating stores/online/mobile" is where retailers need to improve shopping experience the most.
- 73% showroomed at least 1x in the last 6 months.
- 52% like to shop online and 86% like to shop in a physical store.
At the end of the day "Consumers increasingly expect integration of the Big Three (Product, Promotion, and Price). Beyond just seeing a consistent brand across channels, consumers expect a fully integrated and connected shopping experience," reported Accenture.
In order to achieve seamlessness, businesses must take a look at their operational capabilities and seek out strategic partnerships to deliver a consistent and personalized brand experience to their consumers. Implementing systems, such as a Master Data Management (MDM) solution that centrally manages and maintains master data and media assets will enable businesses to adopt new channels, create brand consistency, increase revenue, and reduce costs.