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Buyers want the convenience of online and offline shopping... But are retailers ready for it? [Forrester research]

Buyers want the convenience of online and offline shopping... But are retailers ready for it? [Forrester research]


Most recently, Forrester conducted a survey that interviewed both retailers and buyers. The main task of the American company was to identify customer expectations and the willingness of companies to provide relevant interaction experience to the audience. The research covered both online and offline channels.

A high percentage of buyers noted that they are uncomfortable making purchases (and not only online, but also "live") — the main discomfort concerns the delivery. Retailers, on the other hand, respond by saying that buyers do not always understand how to use the service (even when it is) and track the departure. From the seller's side there is also such technical difficulty, as tracing and fixing purchases through different channels.

What does the customer need in 2020

At this stage of market development it is no longer enough just to have online and offline platforms for work. Now the audience needs synchronization and smooth transition between these channels. Interaction should be built in a common chain, rather than dividing clients into "virtual" and "real".

There are several "overlapping" patterns of behavior that distinguish Forrester:


-Audiences often prefer to search online for a product before following it to the store.
-Customers want targeted delivery or the ability to pick up from one of the many (!) conveniently located delivery points.
-Consumers want their online and offline purchases and interests to be remembered and considered in their loyalty program.

More than half of the audience prefers to carry most of the interaction online (this is 52% of respondents), a quarter of respondents — order via mobile devices (26%) and less than one-tenth (8%) — want to consult with "live people".

At the same time, difficulties in shopping remain at all levels of interaction: from consultation with staff in the store to ordering goods online.

Shortcomings of Customer Journey

Customer Journey is still imperfect both on the Internet and in real places. The study found that more than 80% of the audience does not systematically complete a purchase. They drop their shopping cart on the site for these reasons:

-Cost of goods (32% of respondents);
-Speed of delivery and feedback (17% of respondents);
-The impossibility of free delivery (23% of the audience).

There were also difficulties with shopping in the store — both online and offline (77% of respondents). Most often there were no goods in stock (24%), the queue was too long (20%), and communication with the seller was too slow or uninformed (17%).

Покупатели хотят удобства покупок online и offline...Но готовы ли к этому ритейлеры? [Исследование Forrester]

Information is our weapon

About 90% of the customers surveyed say that they need to be critically aware of the availability of goods for both online and offline retailers.

They also need comfortable delivery to the address or to a particular store in the chain. The first parameter is important for 89% of respondents, and the second is important for 67%. And more than 80% of respondents believe that delivery should be made free, and the policy of exchange and return is more customer-oriented.

Retailers should pay more attention to ensuring quality service and maximum flexibility in their interactions with the customer.

And retailers?

For retailers in 2020, it's important to improve customer experience and increase the client's "life cycle". 72% of retailers consider improving service quality their first priority. All the tasks identified by respondents are somehow related to the smooth operation of online and offline channels.

Thus, employees will try to provide access to the purchase history and personal profile of customers (59% of respondents), balances and availability in warehouses and stores of the chain (56% of respondents), and so on.

Покупатели хотят удобства покупок online и offline...Но готовы ли к этому ритейлеры? [Исследование Forrester]

No more than 30% of respondents believe that they serve their clients with dignity through all channels and provide them with comfortable cross-platform work.

What popular difficulties are highlighted by the remaining 70%:

-The lack of a holistic view of each client (including their purchase history and preferences) — 34%;
-Lack of system and complete transparency in the work with balances and stocks — 31%.

The result is obvious — lost profits. The seller is not able to meet the expectations of the consumer, to track his preferences and provide the most comfortable interaction.

Market demand

One of the most important market demands now can be called a single commercial solution that will synchronize tools and provide uninterrupted service to the audience (with a maximum level of automation).

Market demand is as follows: a single tool that allows you to track online and offline channels of work with a particular user, store data about customers and their previous orders / preferences (as well as booked goods, returns, etc.), track balances and inventory.

Over 40% of respondents plan to implement such a platform this year. Another 12% are interested in the solution, but are not yet ready to allocate resources for it.