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Retailers admit to multichannel shopping inconsistencies

18 August 2016 - 12:01 by Simon Crisp

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Most of the UK’s biggest retailers which have a high street presence are also operating in the e-commerce market, capturing custom from consumers who have decided that bricks and mortar shopping is no longer for them.

However, a new report from RetailMeNot has found that many outlets are struggling to link up their in-store and online experiences, with a number of obstacles and inconsistencies identified as worryingly common.

Retail Gazette reports that 38 per cent of the firms examined in the survey were found to have different prices depending on the platform chosen. So customers who search for a product via safe shopping online can regularly expect to find that it is either cheaper or more expensive in-store.

One of the reasons for this may be that 59 per cent of retailers cannot make a connection between their high street and online sales, meaning that it is impossible for them to track the journey taken by customers. So measuring the impact made by platforms in a meaningful way is impossible.

Thirty nine per cent of retailers still focus the majority of their marketing budgets on achieving bricks and mortar success, meaning that even with the rise of safe shopping online there is still a sense that this should be seen as a secondary platform, with the high street retaining the focus of spending.

The good news is that plenty of retailers are in the process of overhauling their e-commerce offerings, with the majority stating that they are going to boost the amount they invest in digital services over the coming year.

For consumers, the growing maturity of the e-commerce market should mean that these inconsistencies and issues are gradually eroded. And the rise of smartphone shopping is helping to motivate retailers to blur the lines between in-store and online experiences.