Mind the Omni-channel Gap

Accenture and hybris software (an SAP company) have done one of these, we think rather revealing, studies of customer expectations vs retailers realities in the USA, UK France and Germany.

The gaps in this instance are rather wide!

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“The research indicates that many retailers are operating with a ‘false state of omni-channel comfort,’” said Brian Walker, chief strategy officer at hybris. “The reality is that the customer is way ahead of many retailers in defining what competitive shopping patterns are, not only across channels, but within each channel. If retailers are unaware of, or unwilling to acknowledge, these competitive threats then their business will go to other retailers agile enough to plug these gaps, and so provide the omni-channel sales experience customers are demanding. Retailers that fail to understand the significance of this gap in service and sales delivery are leaving themselves exposed to a significant competitive disadvantage.”

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The four main overall findings from the study (pdf)  found;

  • Technology investment is critical to enabling exemplary omni-channel customer experience.
  • Omni-channel customer experience is now a brand differentiator.
  • Many retailers have reached a false state of omni-channel comfort.
  • New titles alone won’t cut it — retailers must abolish siloed channel strategies altogether.

Accenture and hybris commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct an online survey of 1,503 omni-channel shoppers and 256 retail and manufacturing organizations in the US, UK, France, and Germany. The study (Customer Desires Vs. Retailer Capabilities: Minding the Omni-Channel Commerce Gap) was completed in December 2013.

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