Although present across various channels, a big chunk of major retailers still face the issue of connecting their online and offline shopping experiences, reveals new research from RetailMeNot.
In a survey of 50 senior marketing executives at leading multichannel vendors across the UK, the operator of VoucherCodes.co.uk found that although nine out of ten (92%) sell online, a staggering 59% of big retailers admit their major challenge today is the lack of link between in-store sales and online activity, with 38% offering inconsistent pricing across their channels.
Severine Philardeau, VP of retail and brand solutions at VoucherCodes.co.uk, believes the trend results in missed opportunities to drive sales.
“To address this challenge and truly act like an omnichannel business, retailers should consider bringing together their in-store and online teams and calling on more of the expertise and support that partners can provide to connect the in-store and online shopping experience,” she commented.
Connecting the dots
According to the study, almost half of British retailers (42%) have integrated their in-store and online teams to deliver a more consistent experience, with 30% currently restructuring their businesses to combine these teams.
A further 6% are considering it, while almost a quarter (22%) believe the practice to be unnecessary.
At the same time, however, most sellers (61%) admit the marketing budgets are siloed by channels across mobile, online and in-store. Addressing this problem, many (39%) are already assigning funds to their fully integrated retail teams.
“As consumers increasingly expect a consistent experience across all channels, high street retailers simply cannot afford to stand still,” adds Philardeau.
“Connecting the dots between online and in-store behaviour and sales is absolutely imperative, and holds the key to improving the shopper experience and maximising the effectiveness of investments in digital and mobile marketing and promotions.”
The research has also found that retailers are turning to mobile and email to manage the disconnect.
Most (73%) plan to boost their digital investment across channels, with main focus on gathering customers’ emails (77%) to link sales and get a better picture of their shopping behaviours, as well as mobile vouchers and promotions (57%) to encourage shoppers to buy in-store.