The risk of losing customers due to disappointing shopping experiences caused by a flawed omni-channel architecture has become a major issue.
A new survey from the Boston Retail Partners has revealed that, although retailers recognize the need to create a holistic customer experience that transcends channels, most attempts are falling short.
According to the 2016 POS/Customer Engagement Survey, 85% of the respondents indicate that unified commerce is their top priority. Many retailers have taken the “just get something done” approach to deliver a seamless customer experience that transcends channels. The unfortunate result of this quick fix approach is a “faux” omni-channel model that doesn’t execute as promised and has the risk of disappointing customers. While 60% of retailers indicate they have implemented “inventory visibility across channels,” 80% of those retailers indicate that the system “needs improvement.” According to another recent study, this is a real issue, as 60% of click-and-collect orders placed on Cyber Monday had problems.
“Many retailers are realizing that the future of POS is part of a unified commerce platform that hosts a single shared cart across all channels and is integrated with order management,” said Brian Brunk, principal, Boston Retail Partners. “This is the game changer as it is fundamentally changing how retailers think about POS and driving much of the activity we are seeing in the solution marketplace.”
“Saddled with legacy systems that are not designed to accommodate today’s retail environment, retailers have scrambled to cobble things together in attempts to deliver the omni-channel capabilities customers expect,” said Ken Morris, principal, Boston Retail Partners. “Retailers need to invest in infrastructure, networks and service oriented architecture (SOA) layer and do it right. The risk of losing customers due to disappointing shopping experiences caused by a flawed omni-channel architecture is deadly and that is why “real” unified commerce is retailers’ top priority for 2016.”
Boston Retail Partners’ 2016 POS/Customer Engagement Survey of top North American retailers offers insights into retailers’ current point of sale and customer engagement initiatives, priorities and future trends as the physical and digital worlds converge within the store.
Key findings in the 2016 POS/Customer Engagement Survey include:
- Creating a true unified commerce environment is the top priority – 85% of retailers indicated this was a top priority for 2016.
- Improving customer engagement and the customer experience is critical – 68% of retailers indicated this was a focus for the upcoming year.
- Retailers are still occupied with payment/data security – 38% of retailers stated this was a top priority.
The 2016 POS/Customer Engagement Survey sponsors are Manhattan Associates (platinum), Aptos (gold), Demandware (silver), Omnico (silver) and UTC Retail (silver).