With the rise of online shopping and social media has come the goal of an omni-channel experience, creating a seamless customer journey regardless of their path.
Customers no longer rely on just physical stores on the high street, they often use multiple channels to get what they want – from the occasional supermarket shop online to routine visits in store. The reason behind this behaviour is convenience, the ideal of purchasing anywhere, anytime.
One thing that’s key to making this onmi-channel experience work is seamless integration. Customers don’t want to research electrical goods online, only to find that when they visit the store that was cheapest, prices are radically different. The truth is customers want to be able to see products for themselves, in-store, they expect inventory to match across all channels, as well as pricing to be accurate from one channel to the next. This omni-channel experience has led to greater expectations when it comes to in-store shopping experiences.
In fact, new research, commissioned by Displaydata, identified that as many as 76% of consumers are now researching online before visiting a store. They want their trip to be successful and efficient – and researching online, in theory, should help to ensure this. However, disparity between the physical and online experience is leaving customers dissatisfied as the two experiences fall to map on to one another.
Almost half of all UK shoppers questioned thought retailers offered different prices on and offline. This was a huge issue to consumers as consistent pricing is a key expectation; they expect all promotions online to also be offered in store.
Another reason a customer may choose to visit a store, having found an item they wanted online, is to learn more about the product from sales advisors. This is another area where high street stores are failing to measure up. 42% of consumers questioned in the study considered store staff to be poorly informed, while a quarter of respondents felt that a lack of stock availability was a key issue when shopping in-store, as compared to online.
To help retailers understand these new consumer demands, Displaydata have recorded their findings and analysis in a new report, ‘Reinventing the store shelf edge in the age of omni-channel shopping’. The report includes suggestions to help retailers better their in-store strategies, for example, recommending they use new digital display technology to provide better information to shoppers at the point of purchase. This could be anything from having better information on stock, or better access to digital content.
By implementing the techniques discussed in their report, Displaydata hope that they can help retailers improve the in-store experience, aligning it with the online medium – and as a result satisfy consumers and ensure in-store profitability.