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Survey: Consumers expect omnichannel inventory access

Most shoppers want home delivery.

To meet the expectations of modern omnichannel shoppers, retailers need to fulfill orders at every consumer touchpoint.

According to “Recalibrating for the Next Normal,” a new international survey of consumers and retailers from Manhattan Associates, 82% of consumer respondents consider home delivery the most important fulfillment service, with 65% wanting a choice of delivery dates and couriers. More than half (55%) of surveyed consumers would abandon a digital shopping cart if there is a high delivery fee.

Close to half (46%) of surveyed consumers prepare for in-store shopping by going online. Four in 10 use click & collect services, while 34% use contactless/curbside pickup. One-quarter of surveyed consumers (26%) expect store associates to be able to check availability in a nearby store if a product is out of stock, and 15% expect them to be able to order that product for home delivery or omnichannel pickup.

Other interesting consumer findings include:

  • 51% of consumer respondents say that a retailer’s environmental efforts are important.
  • 51% of consumer respondents say product knowledge is the top aspect of customer service.
  • 40% of consumer respondents prefer traditional in-store checkout.
  • 29% of consumer respondents want to use self-checkout on the store floor.
  • 12% of consumer respondents want to use frictionless “scan and go” in-store shopping.
  • 6% of consumer respondents want to use self-checkout via associate mobile device.

Retailers retool stores, inventory for omnichannel shoppers
Survey results indicate retailers are aware of consumer desire for seamless shopping and fulfillment, and responding by transforming their stores and supply chains. Notable retailer data points include:

  • 83% of retailer respondents offer a level of interconnection between their online and in-store functions.
  • In-store handheld devices provided a consolidated view of inventory across the network - stores, distribution centers, in-transit (77%), and view of customer transactions online and in-store (73%).
  • Over half of retail respondents offer buy online and return in-store (55%) and buy in-store and return online (52%).
  • Half of retailer respondents offer buy in-store, return online or order online if out of stock in-store.

“As the retail industry recalibrates for this next normal, the ability to navigate disruption, while enhancing the physical and digital customer experience will become increasingly important; as will the technologies that allow retailers to fulfil in-store and online orders in an agile, sustainable and profitable fashion,” said Ann Sung Ruckstuhl, Manhattan’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer.

Survey: The three in-store technologies customers want most are …
Self-checkout, mobile applications and store mapping are the leading technologies customers are demanding, according to the 2022 ChaseDesign|JGA Tech at Retail Survey. The most used technology while shopping is the smartphone (67% of shoppers use one). The study also found that self-checkout is the most used technology at retail and shoppers want more of it — both in-stores and in more stores.

Manhattan Associates surveyed 500 adult (18+) consumers and 700 management or senior-level officers in Tier 1 retailers ($100+ million in annual revenue). Respondents from both groups were based in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Italy, and The Netherlands. Click here to see the complete survey.

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