Is Your Omnichannel Marketing a Fairytale or a Tragedy? [Infographic]

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Once upon a time, wise marketers began endeavoring to deliver consistent experiences across channels, hoping to make shoppers' dreams come true. After all, 95% of consumers frequently or occasionally shop retailers' websites and brick-and-mortar stores, according to the April 2014 “Omnichannel Insights” report by CFI Group and eBay Enterprise. Furthermore, 82% of consumers say being able to place website orders in-store is at least somewhat important, and 36% always expect website prices to be the same as those in-store.

However, cross-channel mixed messaging can make shoppers feel less like royalty and more like damsels in distress. Nearly three fourths of shoppers (73%) experience price and promotion inconsistencies between brands' websites and stores, according to the report. These discrepancies can also have a wicked effect on some shoppers' purchase decisions. Of the 73% of consumers who have experienced inconsistencies, 28% stop shopping with a brand altogether or at least look elsewhere first due to price differences. Yet, some consumers are more forgiving. Despite conflicting prices, 56% of surveyed consumers will continue shopping with a retailer provided that it works its magic to offer the best price regardless of channel.

Untrained associates can also inhibit brands from creating a fairytale experience for customers. In the report, consumers say that store associates showed occasional or frequent ignorance of Web promotions 77% of the time. Likewise, surveyed shoppers say that they occasionally or frequently receive call center information that conflicts with that of other channels 78% of the time. This is an ogre of an issue considering that 70% of consumers tend to call customer service regarding in-store or online issues, according to the report.

Back-ordered and out-of-stock items can further prohibit retailers from growing sales like a beanstalk. According to the report, 40% of consumers say brands with out-of-stock or back-ordered items are likely to lose their business to a competitor. Fifty-six percent of consumers find their desired online items to be out-of-stock or back-ordered 10 to 20% of the time, and 21% say they're unavailable up to 30 to 50% of the time. Not all retailers are cursed; 47% of shoppers say that they might wait for the brand to fulfill their order, depending on how long it takes.

Fortunately, there are a few things brands can do to put consumers back under their spell. For instance, 87% of consumers say being able to call customer service to check a local store's product availability is important. In addition, 78% of surveyed shoppers consider in-store pickup for online orders important, and 93% want to be able to return online orders to local stores. As the story goes, marketers who fulfill consumers' wishes across channels will go on to live happily ever after.


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