Study Shows Merchants Still Aren’t Multichannel

You may sell through multiple channels, but are you really a multichannel merchant? Most merchants aren’t, according to a study conducted in April by cross-channel commerce solution provider CrossView.

The study examined 25 retailers across four channels: online, in-store, mobile and call center. The retailers were evaluated via a mystery shopping approach, using a variety of criteria including consistency of pricing and promotions, and access to customer profile information.

CrossView CEO Mark Fodor says the bricks-and-mortar stores seem to have cross-channel figured out, as evidenced by Best Buy, Target and Sears having the top three scores in the study. But he added that a lot of merchants still think being cross-channel is as simple as offering in-store pickup for ecommerce sales.

“The opportunity for merchants to become more cross-channel is there, but they need to learn how to communicate with their customers across channels and not fall into silos,” Fodor says.

According to the study, only 12% of retailers could access a customer’s pending web order in the store, and 60% had inconsistency across in-store and online promotions, 56% of retailers displayed ratings and reviews on their website and only 52% use collaborative filtering, which provides tailored recommendations to customers.

Other key findings from the study include:

  • All the retailers examined offered mobile websites
  • 12% had mobile apps
  • 88% of retailers had tools that allowed people to share via Facebook and Twitter
  • 64% did not provide customers estimated shipping charges

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