Consumers today are more informed, empowered and digitally dependent than ever before. This translates into a shopper that expects a converged retailing experience: seamless and consistent interactions whether at
home, on the go, or in the store. Retailers must move beyond multi-channel retailing to provide a smooth, integrated consumer shopping experience that includes loyalty programs, social media and digital marketing.
According to a study by Retail Systems Research, 100% of responding retailers believe the multi-channel shopping experience should be converged for a consistent experience. However, only 32% have achieved this goal.
To gain insight into the state of omni-channel, Jdai conducted consumer surveys and grocery retailer
observations in North America, Europe and Japan. These surveys—the JDAI 2012 C-tailing™ Research:
Global Consumer Insights Survey and JDAI Retailer Benchmark Study—revealed which top five retail service
attributes mattered most to consumers and how well retailers are providing these capabilities.
It’s clear the omni-channel shopper has changed the game, and a new paradigm has been introduced in the general merchandise retailer/consumer relationship.
What’s next? Retailers must act quickly to align their operations with the new reality of converged retailing.
In today’s retail environment, brick-and-mortar businesses can’t compete without an online
presence. But this feature alone isn’t enough. The importance of retailers accepting returns
in-store for purchases made online ranked high among the consumers surveyed.
Clearly, retailers are paying close attention to this growing consumer demand. According to
a 2012 Aberdeen Group study, an increasing number of retailers are accepting in-store returns
for items purchased online.
A “buy online, return to store” service offers benefits to both the retailer and the shopper.
Retailers can make additional sales once the consumer is in the store, and the shopper can avoid the cost of return shipping.
Keep in mind that in-store returns need to be easy. A recent multi-channel report from GSI Commerce indicated that 76% of consumers cited expensive or lengthy online return or refund procedures as a reason for not making a repeat purchase.
Retailer Roadmap Starting Point #1:In-store returns for online purchases with JDAI Advanced Store Enterprise Returns Management JDAI Advanced Store and Enterprise Returns Management integrate with the retailers’ online web store application, so associates have a consistent and efficient experience
when accepting a return that was ordered online.
78% of shoppers surveyed in North America and 73% in Europe stated that “buy online, return to store” was a highly valued retailer attribute.#This demand hits home among the “favorite retailers” identified by consumers participating in the NCR survey: 82% in North America and 52% in Europe offered this option versus 26% of retailers that did not.±
More than ever, consumers are cost-conscious and time-strapped. The faster shoppers can receive money-saving communications from their favorite retailers the better. Most of the surveyed consumers would opt-in for the delivery of personalized coupon offers to their email inbox or mobile devices while shopping in the store.
Retailers have opportunities both inside the store and outside its walls to demonstrate that they know what their individual consumers want and how to deliver it. In fact, 20% of retailers are now using mobile technology as a marketing channel for streaming promotional content, coupons, ads and other marketing messages via SMS and MMS.3
Retailer Roadmap Starting Point #2:Personalized offers with NCR Advanced Marketing Solution (AMS)
NCR AMS integrates with all retailer touchpoints—online, mobile and in the store—to drive consumer loyalty with highly targeted promotions and incentives. This comprehensive, flexible and consumer-specific omni-channel offer-management solution is the first step in meeting the consumer demand for digital coupons.
The majority of shoppers would welcome personalized offers delivered electronically: 73% in North America and 61% in Europe.# Yet only 18% of North American retailers currently provide this feature. Retailers in Europe are slightly more proactive (39%).±
The ubiquity of e-commerce sites means consumers can shop at their favorite retailer whenever they want. Retailers can help satisfy the consumer’s desire for instant gratification and reduced shipping costs by providing the option for purchases made online to be picked up in their local store.
As the battle for consumer mind- and wallet-share rages on, retailers are beginning to recognize the competitive edge that can be gained by offering these shopping conveniences.
Retailer Roadmap Starting Point #3:JDAI Advanced Store and VendorNet® StoreNet® In-Store Pickup Solution
When deployed with StoreNet, NCR Advanced Store links store inventories with e-commerce platforms to enable shoppers to buy online and pick up in the store, while allowing retailers to accept exchanges and returns for purchases made across multiple channels.
68% of consumers in North America and 60% in Europe stated they would like the ability to pay for purchases online and pick up their items at their convenience.# Nearly half of retail locations observed are already providing this shopping convenience for consumers: 44% (52% in Europe; 35% in North America) offered this service, while 48% did not.±
Retailers who offer the option to pick up online purchases at the physical store are boosting their revenue overall. Meanwhile, shoppers love this feature because they can often receive their purchases sooner and avoid costly shipping fees. In short, it’s a win-win!
Consumers are often primed to purchase the next hot retail product—be it a gadget, book or fashion accessory. Retailers can tap into this market of would-be buyers by allowing them to opt-in to notifications about new and pre-order products.
The majority of consumers who participated in the JDAI survey believed this was a valuable retailer offering. And, when consumers opt-in to be notified about advanced store sales, it presents an open-door opportunity for retailers to engage them.
48% of consumers in North America would welcome contact from retailers about upcoming products available for pre-sale, as would 55% of European consumers.# However, only 12% of North American retailers
provided the feature. European retailers are responding slightly better with 26% meeting the demand.±
Consumers are accustomed to using technology independently to assist with the sales transaction. In today’s retail landscape, in-store kiosks are must-haves for keeping pace with the competition. Among the shoppers surveyed by JDAI, nearly half stated they would be willing to use in-store kiosks to make purchases for
shipment to their home.
Online sales for brick-and-mortar stores are growing fast. Take Macy’s(r), for example, whose online sales have steadily increased. As a result, Macy’s is looking to add in-store kiosks to enable shoppers to access inventory beyond what’s on the physical store floor, which is being called an “endless aisle.”