Six in ten UK consumers would consider changing retailers due to a disconnected shopping experience, according to new research.
The Connected Consumer Report 2017 from MuleSoft found that organisations are jeopardising customer loyalty by failing to provide seamless experiences across channels and timely access to information.
More than half (53%) of consumers believe UK retailers provide a disconnected experience across online and in-store channels, and 61% would consider using another retailer as a result of these disconnected experiences.
Another 63% said it is unacceptable for retailers to show inaccurate information regarding what items they have in stock when they are shopping either online or in-store – an issue that can arise when inventory and order management systems are not integrated properly.
“Today’s customers are now expecting more than a transactional relationship with retailers; they want a seamless and personalised journey that reflects the context of how they shop across devices and channels,” said Guy Murphy, industry technology evangelist at MuleSoft. “Retailers can ill afford dissatisfied customers, yet as the figures show disconnected data and systems continue to severely impact customer loyalty.”
Murphy explained: “It is still common for inventory and order management systems to not be integrated, meaning shoppers receive inaccurate product availability information. For retailers striving to offer a great omnichannel experience, this is unacceptable. Retailers must be ready to engage with customers across multiple touchpoints and provide a consistent experience throughout, otherwise customers will simply shop elsewhere.”
The biggest factors contributing to a disconnected shopping experience were found to be:
1. Personalisation falling short of customer expectations, e.g. poorly targeted information and offers.
2. Data input deja-vu – having to re-input or re-submit personal information that was previously provided.
3. A long wait for information and unfulfilled requests.
4. Difficulty in sharing information – almost a quarter (23%) of consumers have given up on interacting with a retailer because sharing information was too difficult.
“Considering the vast amount of data consumers share with retailers, both in-store and online, it is shocking that retailers are still falling short when it comes to providing a personalised experience,” Murphy added. “Today’s shopper expects a fully connected and highly personalised experience, and to do this, retailers need to unlock customer data from the siloed systems it currently resides in. This is no small undertaking for bricks-and-mortar retailers with legacy technology and processes, but it is imperative if they are to regain market share from Amazon and other competitors.”