Virtually all retailers integrate or are in the midst of planning to integrate omnichannel strategies in their business. A successful integration is not guaranteed, however. What are some differentiators that set Winners apart from Losers?
Winning retailers see year-to-year sales growth through the use of integrated omnichannel. Losers, or those companies that underachieve, observe no revenue growth attributable to omnichannel. The benchmarks from Retail System Research were published in February 2014.
Transaction growth is a primary concern in omnichannel strategy for most Winners (37%) and Losers (35%) alike. The next top opportunity, however, shows a significant gap in how Winners and Losers perceive digital channels. For over-achieving retailers the second top priority is driving traffic to stores (31%), while less successful companies focus on creating brand awareness (30%). Only 10% of Losers mention driving traffic to stores as a goal, and creating brand awareness is a priority for only 11% of Winners.
In all probability, this striking difference in understanding omni-channel results from where in an organization the digital strategy originates. If created and run by sales departments, the use of omnichannel certainly looks more likely to turn profitable.
41% of Winners, even up to four times as many as Losers, focuses on leveraging product knowledge and information assets across channels. For instance, omnichannel can provide on-site store employees with better access to product information. Winners also see providing customers with product information across channels as twice as valuable an asset (47% vs. 22% of Losers).
Key challenges for integration
For Winners, the most significant challenges are, respectively, meeting customer demands (47%), seamless experience across all channels (44%) and exposure to new competition by entering digital environments (41%).
Losers, meanwhile, bemoan exposure to new competition (45%), issues with integrating new processes (40%) and the fact that consumers seem to know more about products and prices than their own store assistants do (40%).