Mind the gap – insights into shopper & retailer mobile-enhanced shopping expectations

Back in October 2015, the e-tailing group released some fascinating insights around the current state of omnichannel execution. According to the group’s study “significant gaps” exist between people’s expectations for what the shopping experience should be like and what retailers are actually offering. 

According to the study, 38% of people report using a combination of channels to shop, while 32% report being store only and 29% are web only. The study also found that 18% of people identify themselves as mobile-only shoppers. The study concluded that shoppers are looking for efficiency and consistency within their shopping experiences and inventory transparency is an emerging requirement.

Mind the Gap

When it comes to using mobile tech in the shopping experience the researchers found that the majority of people want the following mobile-enhancements within their shopping experience:

  • assistance with finding a product in the store
  • notifications when their products of interest are available
  • mobile check-out
  • QR codes for accessing pricing and reviews
  • various payment method options
  • access to in-store kiosks
  • store mode within apps
  • clienteling (i.e. Use of tablets and smartphone by associates to help with product selection. )
  • digital signage
  • and other personalization

However, it appears, only a quarter of people, or less, are actually getting these capabilities from their retailers. The researchers see this as “untapped potential” for retailers to better serve their shoppers.

Is your retail environment ready? A Checklist

press release on the report concludes with an useful omnichannel checklist, which is reproduced below:

  1. Consistency should be a strategic initiative particularly around price
  2. Think “fast” and ask yourself if changes to cross-channel experiences make for a quicker and more productive shopping experience
  3. Knowing that shoppers will take advantage of offline and online, play to the strengths of each channel
  4. Remember the role of the store and play up its advantages as shoppers crisscross channels
  5. Embrace both the self-service shopper and those that desire assistance
  6. Inventory transparency must form the basis of shopping where access is at the forefront and supporting services such as in store pickup present
  7. Accessibility to a customer profile across channels and inventory is key
  8. Structure content to educate, inform and inspire shoppers to confidently make a purchase
  9. Develop a road map for in-store technology that supports your brand and addresses category nuances
  10. Embrace innovation in all aspects of the shopping experience

Given the rapid rise and voracious appetite for mobility, clearly, people’s mobile-enhanced shopping and omnichannel expectations are not going to go away, in fact they’ll increase if anything. It is time that retailers mind the gap, and if a recent CMO study from Kahuna, The Future Will Be Personalized: How Marketers Will Deliver Personalized Omnichannel Experiences, is accurate, then they are beginning too.