MuleSoft, the platform provider for application networks, has revealed research that shows nearly two-thirds (61 per cent) of UK consumers would consider changing retailers due to a disconnected shopping experience.
The Connected Consumer Report, which looks at the quality and consistency of consumer experiences across different industry sectors, reveals that more than half (53 per cent) of UK consumers believe retailers provide a disconnected experience across online and in-store channels. Furthermore, almost two-thirds (63 per cent) of UK consumers believe it is unacceptable for retailers to show inaccurate information regarding what items they have in stock when they are shopping either online or in store.
"Today's customers are now expecting more than a transactional relationship with retailers; they want a seamless and personalised journey that reflects the context of how they shop across devices and channels. Retailers can ill afford dissatisfied customers, yet as the figures show disconnected data and systems continue to severely impact customer loyalty," commented Guy Murphy, Industry Technology Evangelist, MuleSoft. "It is still common for inventory and order management systems to not be integrated, meaning shoppers receive inaccurate product availability information. For retailers striving to offer a great omnichannel experience, this is unacceptable. Retailers must be ready to engage with customers across multiple touchpoints and provide a consistent experience throughout, otherwise customers will simply shop elsewhere."
The disconnected retail experience
When looking at the factors that contribute to a disconnected consumer experience:
- Despite the vast amount of customer data retailers capture online and through loyalty programmes, there is clearly room for improvement when it comes to providing a truly personalised experience. 54 per cent of UK consumers said their retailers did not provide a personalised service. Consumers felt retailers were performing significantly worse when it comes to personalisation than other industries. For example, in the banking sector, only 37 per cent said their banks did not provide a personalised service.
- Consumers expect retailers to know their customer information whether they're shopping in store, online or on their phone. However, the reality is that almost half (46 per cent) of UK consumers expressed frustrations with having to re-input or re-submit their personal information that had previously been provided to retailers.
- The speed at which retailers respond to online and offline requests for information is another area of frustration for some consumers. The research reveals that more than a quarter (28 per cent) of UK consumers who have submitted a query or request for information found it could not be answered, or took longer than anticipated, because retail staff did not have access to all the information they needed.
- The final frustration explored was the number of UK consumers who were unable to interact with their retailers in a way that suits them. Nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of consumers have given up on an activity or request because sharing information with their retailer was too difficult.
"Considering the vast amount of data consumers share with retailers, both in-store and online, it is shocking that retailers are still falling short when it comes to providing a personalised experience. Today's shopper expects a fully connected and highly personalised experience, and to do this, retailers need to unlock customer data from the siloed systems it currently resides in. This is no small undertaking for bricks-and-mortar retailers with legacy technology and processes, but it is imperative if they are to regain market share from Amazon and other competitors. Ultimately, it will be the retailers that successfully connect their applications, data and devices that will achieve greater customer loyalty and profits," said Guy Murphy.
The survey was commissioned by MuleSoft and independently carried out by Opinium Research. The UK sample size was 2,006 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken online between 14-20 March 2017. The figures have been weighted and are representative of relevant adult populations (aged 18+).