The report based on the 2017 Digital Commerce Benchmark Survey conducted by Boston, Massachusetts based BRP Consulting says that delivery via a third-party service, such as Uber or Lyft has also increased (from 20 per cent last year to 32 per cent this year) as retailers look at different ways to offer customers the flexibility to shop, purchase and receive their goods on their own terms.
“With Amazon offering same day delivery in some markets, the push is on for retailers to get items delivered to customers as soon as possible,” said Jeffrey Neville, vice president at BRP. “Autonomous delivery and distribution are the next step with self-driving vehicles soon a reality and a few food delivery start-ups already testing the concept.”
Consumer behaviour and mobile technology are dramatically changing the traditional retail model, adds the report. Meanwhile, bankruptcies and store closures make daily headlines, as the phrase ‘retail apocalypse’ becomes the topic of many conversations. These developments dictate retailers’ necessity to adapt to the new customer journey to accommodate the blurred lines of retail and innovative methods of shopping driven by mobile technology, artificial intelligence and rapidly changing fulfilment methods. To succeed, retailers may need to reinvent themselves to create an effective blend of the physical and digital worlds to maintain customer loyalty.
The report also identifies the key customer imperatives, which are personal, ubiquitous and unified. Personal combines behavioural, historical and customer profile data empowers retailers to deliver tailored and relevant content to meet customers’ individual needs. Over 38 per cent of retailers indicate that improving personalisation is a top digital customer experience priority.
Ubiquitous refers to customer expectations for a personalised, seamless experience that require retailers to follow customers’ journeys as they research and shop from anywhere. About 49 per cent of retailers will offer customers the ability to ‘start anywhere, finish anywhere’ within five years. As for unified, it refers to retailers’ technology, processes and organisation that need to be unified and aligned across channels to offer a seamless and consistent customer experience. About 54 per cent of retailers indicate that creating a consistent brand experience across channels is a top priority.
The 2017 Customer Experience/Unified Commerce Benchmark Survey platinum sponsor is Manhattan Associates and the gold sponsors are ECRS, Mi9 Retail, NCR, and Radial. (KD)
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