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Consumers back omni-channel as the future of retail

Consumers back omni-channel as the future of retail
Wednesday November 20 2013

Almost half of consumers online want retailers to deliver genuine omni-channel retail experiences over the next five years, a study commissioned by personalisation provider Peerius, has found.

When asked how they would like the retail experience to change over the next five years, 46% of respondents said they "would like retail to combine the best elements of online and in-store to create a single, consistent experience no matter how I shop". By contrast, just 10% want the in-store experience to be more like the experience of buying online, and 14% want buying online to be more like the in-store experience.

Roger Doddy, Director at Peerius said: "These findings throw down something of a challenge for retailers, some more than others. It is clear that a significant proportion of consumers will gravitate toward retailers able to offer intelligent and effective omni-channel capabilities, so those able to get there first will realise a significant competitive advantage.

"But delivering the kind of deeply integrated and satisfying experience these consumers want is no small task, so it will be very interesting to see which retailers move first, and to what extent this trend leaves pure play online at a disadvantage."

Across both online and in-store, service and recommendations also feature, whilst the ability to browse, albeit in very different ways, was also highly valued.

Roger Doddy, Director at Peerius said: "This is food for thought for retailers already planning omni-channel developments. For instance, where does consumers' preference to touch, feel and see products in-store leave innovations like endless aisle? On the other hand, consumers love the 'no queues' aspect of online, so there is clearly a lot of room for mobile point of sale technologies.

"Similarly, personal service and recommendations comes out strongly across both online and in-store, so retailers are going to have to think very carefully about how they integrate personalisation strategies and technologies throughout an omni-channel experience."