Servicing The Customer In A Multichannel World
By Kathy Kiely-Skaggs, UTC Retail
It comes as no surprise that consumers expect to have flexibility in their shopping channel options and still demand a consistent, high level of service in whichever channel they choose to use. However, providing a similar experience to customers across all channels can be challenging. As retailers continue to look at ways to integrate their multiple channels, the discussion at some point will turn to the risks and rewards of allowing the customer to shop online and pick up their purchase in the store.
Customer expectations across channels continue to increase. In a recent Econsultancy survey, 33.5% of U.S. consumers indicated that being able to purchase from a retailer using different channels was very important to them. Also, 42% indicated they already have experienced reserving products online and picking them up in a store. More importantly, 76.5% of U.S. consumers expect to be able to buy online and return merchandise to a local store location.