With 96% of consumers now using both a store's physical location and website while shopping, retailers are not performing well in omnichannel alignment of product information according to a CFI Group study sponsored by eBay Enterprise. This article is copyright 2015 The Best Customer Guide.

The 'eBay Enterprise Technology Update' suggests that given the significant proportion of shoppers reaching out through multiple channels when shopping, the importance for retailers to communicate online promotions to store employees and customer service agents and align store policies and product information across all channels cannot be understated.

"It's been clear for some time that shopping has become an omnichannel process," said CFI Group CEO Sheri Petras. "To present consumers with a proper retail experience, those channels need to communicate efficiently. Doing so promotes confidence and trust for the consumer, while avoiding the frustration and confusion that comes with receiving inconsistent information."

Consumers report finding the opposite:

  • Just 19% of consumers that contact customer service say the information received is always consistent with the information given online or in store.
  • While 78% of consumers say they have encountered in-store associates unaware of current online promotions.

The intensity of that omnichannel shopping experience is growing as consumers become familiar with the tools available to make them more savvy shoppers. Today, 39% of respondents report using a wireless device while in a store, a figure that is almost certain to grow.

What are they looking for?

  • 56% are comparing prices against other retailers.
  • 51% are comparing prices against the same store's online price.
  • 51% are browsing reviews and recommendations.

"Shoppers today are empowered," Petras concluded. "As more of them take advantage of the mechanisms available, retailers need to stay competitive by providing accurate online information and a healthy line of communication about that information across all channels."