A new study by the e-tailing group inc. using online mystery shoppers found the multichannel experience is still cumbersome for consumers.
In the study released yesterday, 44 percent of the time the return process required the assistance of a store manager to override the system. This was because Internet and store order numbers or procedures were not in sync, the Chicago consultancy said.
Moreover, packing slips and invoices generated for the online sale did not offer necessary information for store salespeople to accurately execute the return. The gaps in information required stores to make telephone calls to counterparts in the retailer’s e-commerce division for clarification.
Also, promotion of the retailers' sites were limited.
The good news, however, was that the problems were resolved in a relatively short period of time. In-store returns took an average of 6.6 minutes, the survey found.
e-tailing group shopped a subset of 25 retailers’ sites selling back-to-school supplies. Its mystery shoppers also visited 16 physical stores allowing customers to return merchandise bought online.