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Tune in all your channels

From bricks-and-mortar to online and m-commerce, customers should get a seamless shopping experience.

Many retailers now have a number of channels via which customers can access them, from in-store to online and mobile platforms. A recent survey by technology firm HP showed that more than half of the top 50 European retailers use more than three channels to sell direct to consumers; however, the cross-channel experience is not always seamless.

According to HP’s research, nearly all of the top 50 European retailers (98%) have a bricks-and-mortar store presence, while just 86% have a transactional website. Even more surprisingly, more than a third of the retailers (34%) offer a mail-order catalogue, although just 28% have a mobile commerce app and 30% have an m-commerce website. Some European retailers are also experimenting with Facebook, although just 2% actively sell through it.

However, many retailers still don’t offer a seamless experience across their channels. For example, the HP report highlighted research from YouGov that  showed 78%of multichannel shoppers found price offers online that were not subsequently available when they went in store. Connecting these dots between channels can greatly improve the customer experience and consequently benefit sales.

One retailer trying to change this is House of Fraser. The department store chain recently teamed up with customer service analytics firm ForeSee to measure and improve the customer experience across its channels, so it can make changes based on the results.

New Look and Ted Baker have also looked at integrating channels by launching click-and-collect services in the past few weeks, giving shoppers more options to shop at their convenience. 

Researching how people shop in store compared with online or on mobiles will allow retailers to improve their knowledge of their customers, meaning they can offer increased choice and a high level of service across all platforms. 

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