- A new survey from McKinsey's Periscope unit finds many retail customers in the U.S. and U.K. want omnichannel shopping experiences, with 49% of respondents saying they would like the ability "to select items online and be directed to them in the store." Yet at least 60% in both regions say they don’t want to share the personal data essential to optimizing those experiences.
- The survey also reveals that in-store shopping remains strong, with 83% of U.S. respondents and 77% of U.K. respondents saying it is one of their top ways to shop, while 59% of U.S. respondents and 55% of U.K. respondents said the same of online shopping.
- Meanwhile, despite a recent increase in "buy online, pick up in-store" offers, just 2% of U.S.respondents consider BOPIS one of their top two shopping methods. It's more popular in the U.K., where it came in at 15%.
Well, it's encouraging that there are a lot of shoppers out there that want to have integrated omnichannel shopping experiences just as much as retailers want to provide them with these experiences. This interest at least validates some of the considerable effort retailers are already putting into figuring out how to support omnichannel.
Yet it also seems like the shoppers surveyed may not fully understand the deep integration of offline and online personal data—such as a customer's location at a given time, or interest in certain products—that needs to happen to create a seamless omnichannel experience.
An optimist would say this state of affairs at least gives retailers time to figure out all the nuts and bolts of support omnichannel shopping, something they haven't figured out yet. A pessimist would counter that all that time and effort will be wasted on customers who don't understand they need to give something to get something.
But an important point could be lost on both parties: More than anything else, retailers need to work on building and maintaining customer trust, and proving how effective they can be at ensuring the security of personal data. Doing that in parallel with all the technology development required to support omnichannel will be the only way to convince customers omnichannel shopping is an experience worth submitting to.