Retailers failing to deliver coherent cross-channel experiences.

For some years the focus of retailers has been on building a coherent experience for their customers across physical stores and digital channels but new research shows that many are failing badly and this is leading to significant lost potential revenues.


Research from Kin + Carta paints a very disappointing picture with as many as 45% of consumers surveyed admitting they have never felt a connected experience between in-store and online experiences when shopping. 


This suggests retailers could be missing out on serious levels of sales because a hefty 66% of shoppers stated they had spent more time and money than intended with those retailers that had delivered an immersive retail experience. There is much talk of retailers giving shoppers this immersive experience through a blending of tech and stores, which at its heart involves customer data.


Sadly the survey found there was a widespread disappointing use of customer data, with 54% of people saying they did not have a positive experience when a retailer used their personal data, with only 14% therefore seeing value in sharing personal data with the company. This is a serious situation because the delivery of rich, tailored shopping experiences is reliant on retailers accessing valuable customer data. 


Not surprisingly, this scenario is giving shoppers a lack of confidence in using their digital devices in-store, with as many as 68% of respondents believing smartphones are not important in the shopping experience. This is reflected in the other finding that 26% of people spent less than 10% of their time on their phones to shop when they were in-store.


Matt Hildon, retail portfolio director at Kin + Carta, says: “This research paints a stark picture of the gulf between what customers want to see to improve their experiences and what retailers are offering. The fact is that customers are simply not having cohesive experiences of retail brands between their physical footprint and their digital channels. Unfortunately, this dissonance is impacting retailers’ bottom lines by missing the opportunity of revenue uplift by a connected omni-channel experience.”


Interestingly, the situation is not as dire in the US, according to a separate survey conducted by Kin + Carta, which found only 11% of consumers have never encountered connected in-store and online shopping experiences and 62% have experienced shopping that connects the channels.


There is clearly much more work to be done in the UK in order to better integrate the channels and more effectively utilise customer data across them, which could then lead to retailers delivering the much talked about immersive experience to their customers.