Omni-channel has become standard operating procedure for major retailers because it has become a shopper convention. A recent CFI Group/eBay Enterprise study found that 95% of shoppers frequently or occasionally shop both a retailer’s website and store. Customers now expect exceptional service and convenience while shopping online and in-store.
Whether it’s referred to as omni-channel or cross-channel, shoppers are winning. Retailers have to meet the mounting challenges regarding online purchases and in-store returns; in-store pickup of online orders; best pricing across channels, and handling of out-of-stocks and back-ordered items.
Chain Store Age noted that 78% of shoppers consider in-store pickup of online orders important, while nearly half consider it extremely important. Shoppers demand convenience and will switch retailers and/or channels in order to bypass these issues when they arise and expect store associates to be knowledgeable on all channel promotions.
Retailers can now interact with the shopper all along the path to purchase. Addressing the day-to-day needs of shoppers is something retailers are working to better address. Retailers who can meet these needs will be poised to take advantage of the unique opportunities associated with omni-channel shopping. But for now, the shopper is in control.
Contributed By: Chris Mountain, Integer Denver
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