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Survey: Consumers like omnichannel features, but have data concerns


Consumers know what they want: seamless shopping between online and offline. But they are worried about sharing the data that allows retailers to fully implement it.

That’s one of the major findings of a new survey from Periscope, by McKinsey. Asking how consumers shop, the survey found that in-store shopping still dominates, with 83% of U.S. consumers saying it is one of their top ways to shop, followed by ordering online via a computer (59%). Interestingly, only 2% of respondents consider “buy online, pick up in store” one of their top two shopping methods.

While omnichannel may not be a term that consumers can easily define, the features that underpin it matter to them, with the ability to instantly orders that are out of stock in the store via their phone for home delivery (54%) being a big priority. The ability to select items online and be directed to them in the store also ranked high (49% U.S.).

But to implement omnichannel solutions that bridge the online and in-store experience, retailers first have to earn the trust of consumers to use the information gathered online and through location-based services or other mobile device data, according to the survey. However, 62% of respondents currently do not want their online and offline information to be connected to optimize the shopping experience.

Pricing is one area that appears to impact trust, with 54% of consumers getting frustrated when they see products are priced differently on- and offline at the same retailer.

In other key findings:

• Twenty-four percent of consumers said they are often put off making a purchase because of recommendations made while browsing However, shoppers overwhelmingly (61%) said they were happy to receive recommendations if they were relevant, 42% stating online channels “knew them well” compared to their offline experience.

• Sixty-six percent of respondents said they saw “no evidence” that stores they visit regularly know them as a consumer.

“Retailers that can build the bridge between in-store and online, as well as bridge the trust gap, are those that will flourish in the future,” said Channie Mize, general manager for retail at Periscope. “It will allow them to deliver experiences that will get customers flocking to their doors and online store. Implementing a traditional analytics platform is not enough anymore – retailers have to use new tools to bridge the in-store and online experience with platforms and algorithms that are situation aware and make recommendations in that context. A first step is to move to prescriptive customer analytics “to optimize offers for loyal consumers across both online and offline channels.”

Click here to download the report.
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