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How can retailers improve the store experience?


Retailers looking to make their in-store customer experience more appealing can take a few basic technology-enabled steps.

According to a new survey of 1,000 U.S. and Canadian consumers from iVend Retail and CitiXsys Americas Inc., 71% of respondents agree or strongly agree that shopping online is more convenient than shopping in a store, with 24% saying shopping in a store is a letdown after shopping online.

The study also found 67% of respondents find the online shopping experience smooth and 18% think there is room for improvement. In contrast, only 50% said the in-store shopping experience is smooth and 37% said it needs improvement.

When asked what would improve their in-store experience, respondents’ top choices included having personalized loyalty offers sent to them when they enter the store. Forty-two percent said they wanted offers sent to their phone, while 29% wanted them delivered via email.

Retailers should also consider offering buy online pickup in store (BOPIS) services, of they don’t already. Twenty-five percent of consumers said improved in-store collection processes when picking up an item they’ve ordered online would improve the in-store experience. Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they have ordered an item online for collection in a store.

Finally, the study suggests retailers should provide consistent omnichannel personalization. Nearly half (46%) of respondents said they receive online offers based on what they buy, but don’t receive targeted offers in the store. As a result, many consumers feel the online experience is more personal.

Nearly a quarter (23%) said they would like stores to give them a more personalized experience like they get online. To get that experience, consumers are willing to allow retailers track their purchasing habits and use that information to send them targeted offers.

Two thirds (67%) said it was either “very important” or “somewhat important” that retailers have one view of them as a customer – both from online and in-store shopping history. More than one-in-five (22%) say they would like stores to know more about how they shop online so that they can improve service.

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