Do You Have What It Takes to be an Omni-Channel Experience Leader?
Have you had a chance to check out the Incisiv 2023 Omni-Channel Experience Index report? This new research analyzes the latest market trends and consumer preferences to help you understand which capabilities retail leaders offer today. The COVID-19 pandemic-driven digital shifts we’ve seen in the past few years are here to stay, and shoppers have come to expect seamless omni-channel experiences.
Incisiv surveyed 115 retailers to understand the current state of omni-channel retail and evaluated the digital ordering and fulfillment capabilities of these retailers in four key areas, including Inventory Visibility, Frictionless Fulfillment, Cost & Payments, and 360-Degree Service, which encompassed 104 digital capabilities. Based on their findings, retailers in the leader’s category provided the most comprehensive omni-channel experiences across seven retail segments including: apparel, consumer electronics, department stores, general merchandise, grocery, health and beauty, and specialty. These retailers excelled in offering distinctive experiences and demonstrated functional maturity across all evaluated areas.
Let’s briefly look at the four key areas:
Inventory Visibility and Accuracy
With digital becoming the first point of customer interaction in more than 90% of purchases, inventory visibility and accuracy are the top experience priorities for retailers. However, while 40% of shoppers value a retailer sharing information on inventory levels, only 22% provide transparency of stock availability across stores. Furthermore, according to the survey, 30% of shoppers will switch stores if their preferred product is not available and 70% will switch brands. With shopper expectations continually changing and their expectations for a seamless shopping experience higher than ever, it’s become imperative for retailers to deliver real-time information on stock availability in-store and online.
Second, offering a complete selection of online and store-based fulfillment is now table stakes. While retail laggards had to rapidly implement curbside and BOPIS capabilities when the pandemic hit, today success for retailers lies in the seamless execution of these fulfillment options. Delivery speed, the ability to customize, and order visibility drive differentiation and provide a competitive edge. In fact, speed of delivery has slowly become one of the top three purchase decision influencers, along with price and return policy. For example, 56% of shoppers have abandoned their carts due to concerns about delivery time.
Costs & Payments
Retail leaders understand that they need to provide value for money. According to Incisiv, while most retailers benchmark themselves against Amazon’s shipping speed and Target’s store fulfillment, few do so against the outsized value their membership programs deliver to members. These programs create a lock-in effect that drives high retention, repeat orders, and customer lifetime value. With low loyalty in online shopping, it’s become imperative for retailers to deliver value beyond the product and create frictionless experiences.
360-Degree Customer Service
Over the past 2-3 years, customer service has evolved from post-purchase issue resolution to an omnipresent medium of trust development. In our omni-channel world, transparency, convenience, and personalized communication are crucial elements in building trust and ensuring customer satisfaction. Customers expect to be able to track their orders, receive refunds for returns, and resolve queries and complaints.
Why does this matter? Shoppers want their overall purchase experience to be smooth and seamless, making customer service essential. For example, 86% of shoppers will pay 15% more for a seamless customer service experience. 95% of shoppers will remain loyal to a retailer with self-service return processes.
Based on their assessment of 115 retailers, Incisiv recognized 20 retailers and brands as Overall Omni-Channel Experience Leaders within and across retail segments. They are the benchmark for omni-channel experience in 2023, offering differentiated experiences across the shopping journey. Blue Yonder Commerce and Order Management customers that made the list include: Sephora, Walgreens, Petco, and more. Check out the report for the full list.
The survey results clearly indicate that the digital transformation we saw in the past few years and market trends are here to stay. Retail leaders not only embraced offering inventory visibility, fast and frictionless fulfillment, value for money, and comprehensive customer service, but they also executed on those capabilities well. We have seen time and again that today’s customers want retailers to deliver robust offerings in ways that also create seamless customer experiences. Bad experiences at any stage of the buying journey can lead consumers to change what they buy and even where they shop.
Download the Incisiv 2023 Omni-Channel Experience Index report to get full details on the survey, market trends and retail leaders.