Cross channel expectations have risen dramatically over the past year. Consumers expect to complete an order anywhere (61%), modify an order anywhere (74%) and track an order anywhere (87%). These expectations have risen dramatically since 2007, up an average of 10%, as revealed in the recent survey titled Shifting Shopper Preferences: Analyzing the Latest Data on Cross-Channel Trends.
Jim Bengier, Global Retail Executive at Sterling Commerce, referenced the new retail world as the “Omni Channel” –during a webinar last week, adding that consumers have a seamless experience at every touch point, from the store to the call center, Internet and when using mobile technology.
Mobile technology in particular is creating a firestorm of activity among retail organizations, as more consumers purchase and start to use smartphones for a variety of purposes. Leading retailers are responding by providing mobile capabilities for price (30%), specials (28%), item availability (26%) and item location (16%), Bengier reported.
Technology as the channel enabler
In order to bring the Omni Channel to life, retailers must focus on improvements in retail technology. Order management, Pricing, Inventory Optimization, Merchandising and Marketing are all key contributors to future retail success.
Demandware’s Troy Brown, who leads the company’s Retail Practice Group, explained that retailers must build an emotion and rational bond between the consumer and the brand to create the Branded Engagement needed to meet consumers’ demands.
At the core of the branded engagement promise is “unified data,” noted Brown, which “underpins the lifecycle of browsing, consideration, purchasing and service.”
To complete the cycle of branded engagement, retailers should take a close look at their POS systems within their stores, Brown added. An up-to-date POS system will facilitate cohesive data exchange between the retail channels.
For more turnkey data from the 2010 Research Study “Cross-Channel Brand Interaction: 2010 Consumer Preferences,” view the on-demand webinar, which offers more insights into the innovative changes retailers are making to redefine the customer experience and create competitive edge around cross-channel capabilities.