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42% of retailers have restructured for omnichannel

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17th Aug 2016
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Many would argue that for major retailers, their greatest challenge is connecting the dots between on- and offline channels.

RetailMeNot’s latest study does nothing to quash this argument - in interviews with senior marketers at numerous leading UK multichannel retailers, they found that a huge proportion were still struggling to get to grips with successfully delivering consistency across channels.   

59% stated they were unable to link in-store sales to online activity, while nearly 38% stated they were yet to offer consistent pricing across all channels.

The upshot is that 42% of UK retailers have restructured their business to bring together online and in-store teams, to ensure a more consistent experience for shoppers, with a further 30% transitioning to a combined retail team.

And 73% of UK retailers plan to increase their investment in digital over the next 12-24 months, in order to enhance in-store experiences and improve the connection between on- and offline.

“As consumers increasingly expect a consistent experience across all channels, high street retailers simply cannot afford to stand still,” says Severine Philardeau, VP of retail and brand solutions for RetailMeNot.

“Connecting the dots between online and in-store behaviour and sales is absolutely imperative, and holds the key to improving the shopper experience and maximising the effectiveness of investments in digital and mobile marketing and promotions.

“With three out of five large retailers still unable to link in-store sales to online activity, opportunities to drive sales and strengthen brand loyalty are undoubtedly being missed. To address this challenge and truly act like an omnichannel business, retailers should consider bringing together their in-store and online teams and calling on more of the expertise and support that partners can provide to connect the in-store and online shopping experience.”

A study by MasterCard last year found that eight out of 10 consumers now use a computer, smartphone, tablet, or in-store technology while shopping.

GI Insight’s report The Omnichannel Imperative shed further light on the unpredictable nature of customer journeys. In a study of 1,000 UK consumers, it found that 71% of customer journeys begin online and yet just 42% typically buy via the web, while 18% start with a visit to a shop but 31% end up purchasing in store. Meanwhile, 25% of respondents reported that they don’t have any ‘usual’ purchasing channel at all.

Read: The MyCustomer 2016 omnichannel guide

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