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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : April 17, 2013

Consumers consider connected, seamless shopping crucial

Online shopping, mobile shopping, in-store shopping - it's all just shopping to consumers who don't distinguish between each channel but who instead want the entire experience to be "seamless".

by Helen Leggatt

It's a tall order, says Chris Donnelly, global managing director of Accenture's retail practice, but a seamless shopping experience across multiple channels is what customers expect.

The Accenture Seamless Retail Study, conducted across eight countries, found that half (49%) of consumers think the best way to improve the shopping experience is to make sure that all channels - in-store, online and mobile - are better integrated.

In essence, what consumers want is for retailers to allow them to shop via the channel that is most convenient to them, cited by a whopping 89% of respondents. It's not just consistent branding that consumers want, but a fully connected and integrated shopping experience where even products, pricing and promotions are consistent across channels.

While almost all survey respondents said they found in-store shopping easy, and three-quarters (74%) found online shopping a breeze, mobile is proving to be the channel least satisfying with just 26% saying they found mobile shopping easy.

"In many cases we have found a significant gap between consumer expectations and reality, but we believe seamlessness is achievable," says Donnelly. "Traditional retailers must take stock of their operational capabilities. They require a presence at every stage of the customer journey to deliver a consistently personalized, on-brand experience from discovery through research, purchase, fulfillment and beyond to product maintenance or returns."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: consumer preferences, customer experience, in-store shopping, mobile shopping, online shopping, retail, shopping insights

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