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Study: Gaps exist between online and store experiences


Consumers have made it clear: they want to shop across a brand holistically, not a company’s individual channels.

Yet, a lack of unified customer experiences continues to haunt customer service, and fails to drive customer loyalty. These details were revealed in “In-Store Meets Online: Unifying the Retail Customer Experience,” a report from Kibo, a cloud-based unified omnichannel commerce platform provider.

A variety of issues are causing the disconnect, including almost one quarter of retailers that said they have no targeted or personalized marketing initiatives in place — a move that drives conversion both in-store and online. Meanwhile, 66% of retailers don't offer in-store pickup, and up to 54% of respondents claim their technology won't support increasingly mission-critical omnichannel retail functions, such as ship-from-store, in-store pickup, and save-the-sale, the report said.

“As customers approach e-commerce, their expectations go beyond that of a single channel, and into a connected commerce environment that retailers must be prepared to deliver,” the report summarized. “To do so, brands must effectively bridge the gap between consumers' digital and in-store shopping patterns, and drive traffic between the two without losing consumers' business and loyalty.”

On a positive note, retailers are making progress, as 77% of retailers use some type of mobile or tablet device to assist customers in-store. Meanwhile, 42% of retailers plan to invest in in-store pickup in the next 12 months, the report said, adding that concerns over investing in new technologies may have delayed important steps forward.
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