Retailers believe excellent customer service and fast transaction speeds hold the key to omni-channel success, according to a new survey.

Research from Ipanema Technologies, a developer of app management solutions, shows that an increasing number of companies say the changing demands of their customers are forcing them to make their shopping experiences all the more seamless, and satisfying these groups is at the forefront of their minds.

The customer-centric experience

Retailers are fast learning that attempting to merge several shopping channels together can entail certain technical issues.

Thus, with help from London-based research agency Loudhouse, Ipanema surveyed over 400 IT decision-makers based in retail organisations to establish their attitudes towards the integration of physical and online retail.

Figures from the study indicate that over half of IT pros (58%) believe excellent customer service is vital to the omni-channel experience, with a similar proportion (55%) citing the ability to process transactions at speed as an important factor.

Nearly half of the group (49%) considered interchangeable purchase channels to be having an effect on success in this area, but it seems companies are having to grapple with a number of technical problems to gain this attribute.

IT the stumbling block

Ipanema discovered that almost three quarters of companies (74%) are worried about “sprawling” IT infrastructure hampering their omni-channel ambitions, while the majority (76%) admit to having no confidence in scaling their tech barrier.

To make matters worse, companies have a backlog of IT priorities to get through before they can focus on omni-channel development, including cloud deployment (57%), increasing bandwidth (52%) and updating their network architecture.

However, for those that manage to conquer the challenge that omni-channel presents, the rewards could be plentiful.

Most of the group (55%) said that if they were to master the art of seamless shopping, they would see an increase in sales. Nearly half (47%) said they would see benefits in the form of an increased market share, with the same proportion expecting more positive word of mouth.