A new consumer survey by HSO reveals that many retailers are still not able to live up to their customers' expectations of a seamless, omni-channel service.
Two-thirds (66%) of those polled think that retailers might know their spending habits via one channel, but they don't have a complete integrated picture of in-store, on-line and mobile. With this in mind, the majority (59%), believe that retailers should, by now, be using technology to gain an all-round view of their complete purchasing history.
"Most retailers now understand how today's omni-channel, retail environment should work for the customer, but many have not yet implemented the systems and processes they need to deliver it. On the other hand consumers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their demands. As a result, their expectations are now out of kilter with the reality," says Robin Coles, Microsoft Technologies Enablement Lead, HSO.
"However, all is not lost – in our survey, 53% said that although they expect a retailer to have knowledge of their purchases across all channels, they understand that this is often not the case, so are impressed when a retailer does provide this. This means there is still an opportunity for those who act urgently to get the edge over competitors."
HSO says that to address this ongoing challenge and keep up with customer expectations, retailers must consider investing in technology such as ERP with CRM at the heart, in order to integrate the silos of customer data and deliver a holistic view, accessible at each customer touch point. This will give them an insight into each customer's history across all channels. Not only will this improve their customer service, it will also enable them to up- and cross-sell, promote related products and reward loyal customers.