More retailers are focused on creating a seamless shopping experience across all of their channels, and fewer retailers are blending their online and in-store shopping experience, according to a 2019 BRP report emailed to Retail Dive. Fifty-nine percent of retailers said they're focused on consistent branding that carries across channels, but only 18% are focused on converging on and offline shopping environments, the report found.
More consumers are heading online for product information before they visit brick-and-mortar stores, according to the findings. Eighty-two percent of respondents shopped and reviewed products online and then bought goods at the store, and 62% of consumers said they compared prices online before going to a store.
Retailers are also working to improve their mobile shopping experience. Forty-five percent of retailer respondents said they were working on improving customer personalization and 41% said they are polishing their mobile shopping experience.
Retailers have seen multiple casualties as online shopping continues to upend brick-and-mortar businesses. Recent notable closures include Party City and Family Dollar. However, as the report points out, retailers expect their online sales to grow and, in turn, are focused on shaping up their mobile customer experience across all of their channels. Nearly three-quarters of retailers surveyed anticipate an increase in sales from e-commerce, primarily driven by mobile site sales, and 38%said they are planning for an increase in brick-and-mortar store sales, the BRP report found.
"Since consumers use digital devices throughout the shopping journey to research product information, compare prices and read consumer reviews, providing as much relevant information via the retailer's website helps keep customers loyal to the brand," Jeffrey Neville, senior vice president and practice lead at BRP, said in a statement. "As e-commerce continues to represent a greater share of retailers' revenue mix, it is imperative that retailers continue to enhance their online capabilities to keep up with their competitors that are just a click away."
The report suggests that there's an opportunity to merge the online and in-store shopping experience with 59% indicating they are focused on consistent branding across platforms. The report notes, "it is surprising that only 18% are focused on increasing the convergence of physical and digital shopping environments. This seems like a disconnect, as converged physical and digital shopping environments are necessary to create a consistent brand experience across channels."