Running a successful multichannel retailing operation is about more than simply ticking the largest number of boxes. A retailer may be able to offer a smartphone app, in-store wi-fi, same-day delivery, free clickand-collect, personalised recommendations and mobile payment but if these capabilities do not integrate seamlessly across multiple channels then the customer experience will be poorer than the retailer who does a small number of things very well.
In this report, K3 and Retail Week carry out an audit of the customer facing multichannel capabilities of a cross section of the UK’s home and lifestyle retailers. The results are instructive if not definitive – what this report is not is a league table of the best multichannel retailers in this segment. Multichannel capabilities need to be viewed as part of a bigger supply chain picture in which the mundane systems and structures are considered as important, if not more so, than the ‘bells and whistles’ innovations.
While we focus here on retailers’ customerfacing capabilities, it’s important to remember that it’s the invisible pieces of the jigsaw that bind everything together – the backend systems without which an effective multichannel offer cannot function. What this audit does tell us is that certain multichannel capabilities are becoming increasingly mainstream to the point where consumers will soon expect them to be a part of a retailer’s repertoire. Some of the retailers surveyed are pioneering new services and features that are raising the competitive bar. Others are feeling their way more slowly through a rapidly changing landscape, focusing on developing capabilities that add most value to their unique business model. What each of the retailers has in common is the fact that in the age of multichannel retailing, none of them can afford to stand still.
Download the Retail Week 2015 Benchmark Report below.