Given the phenomenon of constantly rising consumer expectations, retailers would be justified in feeling that the goal of providing a seamless omnichannel experience continues to stay out of reach, no matter how many advances they make. In consumers’ minds, each new omnichannel service moves quickly from a nice-to-have competitive differentiator to the “table stakes” category.
While consumer expectations continue to rise, the retail executives surveyed for the eighth annual Retail TouchPoints Omnichannel Benchmark Survey are seeing a wide range of benefits from their omnichannel efforts, with a list led by an array of customer facing positives including improved customer service (61%), customer retention (54%) and loyalty (52%).
Other key findings from the Benchmark Survey reveal retailers’ progress in achieving a number of omnichannel capabilities in 2019 compared to last year:
- 38% of retailers now provide customers with access to cross-channel real-time inventory data on their personal devices, up from 26% in 2018;
- 58% of store associates now have access to real-time product inventory levels, up from 49% last year;
- 73% of retailers offer buy online/pick up in-store (BOPIS) services, up from 50% in 2018;
- 60% of retailers are using a loyalty program as a tool to track consumer activity across the omnichannel purchasing journey, up from 51% in 2018; and
- A total of 53% of retailers now empower their store associates to match competitors’ prices some or all of the time, up from 47% in 2018.