Most Retailers Only Halfway in Their Journey to Omnichannel Maturity

Crowd of people crossing road shoppingRetailers are struggling to evolve their businesses to the omnichannel market, with most rating themselves as barely halfway in their journey to to become mature omnichannel companies.

In a new study by Starmount and Retail Systems Research, retailers were asked to assess their own capabilities to provide an omnichannel experience across six dimensions: customer, product, inventory, order/fulfillment, locus and technology. With rankings ranging from one (no capability) to six (fully competent), respondent scores fell in a tight range between 2.7 and 3.5 in all sectors, indicating that most either lacked the technology or expertise needed, or werent confident in their ability to apply it.

Order and fulfillment capabilities received the lowest overall rankings, with an average score of 2.7, highlighting the retail industrys difficulty with reorganising supply chains for more flexibility, and a lack of focus on meeting customers expectations of service.

67 per cent of retailers ranked themselves as inefficient or worse at integrating in-store and digital experiences. While many have pointed towards this clicks and bricks approach as a potential lifeline for physical stores, retailers are falling short of the seamless shopping experience customers expect.

When it came to measuring omnichannel engagement of customers, 71 per cent of retailers were unable to do so, with only 34 per cent rating their customer data collection capabilities at five or higher. Overall, most retailers were not measuring customer engagement, and only basic statistics relevant to marketing are being tracked.

“In todays retail environment, shoppers dont make any distinction among retail channels; instead, they expect an integrated physical experience that bridges the digital and in-store worlds,” said Jerry Rightmer, EVP and chief product and strategy officer for Starmount. “Delivering on that expectation is the core challenge of omnichannel retailing – and this new report indicates that most retailers still have a long way to go in meeting customer expectations.”