Tulip Retail and Deloitte have released the findings from their Retail’s Omnichannel Challenge – IT capabilities like ship-from-store, but perhaps most startling is that the departments tasked with building omnichannel strategy range from operations to IT to Marketing.

“Leadership is critical to building an effective omnichannel strategy that integrates a network for physical stores and eCommerce along with convenient options for delivery and returns,” said Jennifer Lee, National Retail and Omnichannel Leader for Deloitte in Canada. “Clear ownership accelerates progress so retailers can prioritize the project that will have the most impact, delegate the right internal resources and then grow a team to deliver a memorable brand experience.”

The study focused on Canadian retailers and found about half are using price-matching to keep shoppers coming to their stores.

Moving forward retailers report they may implement mobile technology for sales associates while half (51%) say they’ll deploy in-store initiatives to keep customers coming back. Also, look for metrics to take up more budget dollars – about one-third are using analytics to build customer loyalty while half (53%) are focused on defining their brand experience.

Other interesting findings from the report include:

• 33% say operations staff are responsible for omnichannel decision making
• 35% of retailers say absolute sales best measure their business health
• 70% operate loyalty programs, 40% plan to increase loyalty program spending in the next year
• 62% say sales associates are the most important for building long-term customer relations

“We’re seeing retailers start to build the basis of an omnichannel strategy with in-store initiatives, but many are confused on how to start the process,” said Ali Asaria, CEO of Tulip Retail. “With these types of logistical roadblocks, retailers are slow to get their omnichannel plans off the ground, which presents even more challenges as consumers’ shopping habits continue to evolve.”

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