Online & In Store Need Equal Attention

The Lempert Report
April 07, 2015

New study says make sure customers can seamlessly move through both!

According to a recent study of consumer attitudes toward digital shopping by global management consulting firm, Accenture, retailers need to offer a seamless bridge between online and offline experiences.

Customers tend to go for what's most convenient at the time, so all channels must be equally desirable. According to Dave Richards, global managing director for Accenture’s retail practices;  “The winners will be those most successful at transitioning their online visitors into in-store purchasers and vice versa.”

Accenture, who are based in Ireland, conducted the U.S. portion of the survey online among 750 consumers and 32 retail companies. Here are a few highlights:  Asked what aspect of the shopping experience is most in need of an upgrade, 39% of respondents ranked the physical store first. But important for retailers to note;  32% cited the need for retailers to improve the shopper’s ability to use physical, online and mobile channels in an integrated way.

Eighty-two percent of respondents said they expect retail prices to be the same in-store and online — up from 69% in the same survey a year ago.  However, the study found only 34% of retailers have identical pricing across channels for more than 80% of the items assessed.

The survey also found that retailers who don’t have the right online presence and pricing are at risk of losing sales once a physical store closes. “If access to a physical site is not possible, 15% of consumers indicated they would shop around online for the best price, rather than buy from the original retailer online or wait to go back to the store.

This data serves as a reminder to supermarkets that while an online presence should be a priority, it should not be to the detriment of the physical store. Having a high standard for all platforms and having them be in sync should be the goal. The in-store and the digital need to compliment each other and together offer everything the customer needs.