IBM keeps rolling out the research data... an IBM study of 30,000 global consumers, released earlier this month at the 2014 National Retail Federation convention reports that consumers want multi-channel retail experiences.
According to the study, shoppers aren't asking for "multi-channel shopping experiences," but that's what their behavior and expectations translate into from a retailer, contact center, and technology perspective; consumers simply expect to be able to use their personal technology such as smartphones and tablets in every aspect of their life.
IBM found that the five most important omnichannel capabilities to consumers are, in rank order:
- Price consistency across shopping channels
- Ability to ship items that are out of stock in the store directly to their home
- Option to track the status of an order
- Consistent product assortment across channels
- Ability to return online purchases in the store.
The study also found that consumers are increasingly willing to share their current GPS location, from their smartphone or tablet, with retailers, to obtain the experience they want. The number of consumers willing to do so nearly doubled year-over-year to 36 percent. Thirty-eight percent of consumers indicated their willingness to provide their mobile number for the purpose of receiving text messages and 32 percent would share their social handles with retailers.
“Today’s consumer has been conditioned by multiple industries -- from healthcare to travel -- to expect personalized interactions across different channels,” said Jill Puleri, IBM Retail Global Industry Leader. “IBM’s study shows consumers are willing to share details about themselves, particularly if they receive a personalized experience in return. It’s imperative that retailers enact a Big Data and analytics strategy that ensures they use consumer information wisely, gaining their customers’ trust and loyalty by providing value in exchange.”
The release of the IBM study is timely. We recently engaged with Esteban Kolsky, the principal, and founder of ThinkJar, an advisory and research firm focused on customer strategies, to share his perspective on changing customer expectations. Esteban has more than 25 years of experience in customer service and CRM consulting, research, and advisory services.
Visit the link to watch his recorded presentation.