Customer Experience Demands are Rising

Sep 13, 2016

brick and mortar

Accenture's recent survey of global shoppers confirms that there is a rising intensity and the reality that defines the customer experience is demanding retailers to adapt more quickly. The ability to adapt quickly has become the new hallmark of success for retailers.

We know that delivering a great mobile experience is key and it's becoming increasingly important to personalize promotions, marketing messages, and product recommendations consistently across all channels and devices. We also know that retailers are still falling short when it comes to meeting customer expectations in two key areas. Respondents to the survey cited:
  • The lack of visibility across a brand's various retail channels, especially when it comes to checking product availability. 49% indicated that checking product availability prior to going to the store would improve the experience. This is up from 27% a year ago, which suggests this is a growing need/expectation of consumers.
  • The lack of ability to order out-of-stock products in the store. Less than half of all retailers have store staff who can order out-of-stock items for customers. The demand for this ability increased from 17% in 2015 to 27% in 2016.

Retailers Play Catch Up with Fulfillment Expectations

The most popular method of getting online purchases delivered to their home. It's no secret that Amazon Prime has put huge pressure on retailers to deliver products fast and for free. According to the survey:

  • 56% of retailers have next-day delivery and only 11% can deliver on the same day.
  • Approximately 50% of all retailers can schedule deliveries for a specific day.
  • Only 39% currently offer shop online and pick up capabilities, and recent studies suggest that most retailers are struggling to execute it smoothly.
  • 57% of retailers allow shoppers to return online orders to their stores for a refund or replacement.

In addition to cross channel product visibility and fulfillment capabilities, shoppers continue to be wary of a retailer's ability to safeguard their personal information. Trust remains an issue for shoppers and the study revealed that 57% this year, compared to 49% last year were concerned about the potential theft of their personal information.

It's clear that while retailers have begun to adapt to the evolving needs of their customers, they need to move quickly to catch up and adapt as consumers continually seek more value, greater convenience and a better experience. Read the full study here: Accenture - Retail Consumer Research 2016