March 8, 2007, 12:00 AM

Top retailers still lag in seamless integration of web site and store

While nearly 75% of the top 100 retailers in the U.S. operate in multiple channels, only 22% consider seamless multi-channel integration a top priority and 40% still don’t have any integration between store and web site, according to LakeWest Group.

While nearly three-quarters of the top 100 retailers in the U.S. operate in multiple channels, only 22% consider seamless multi-channel integration as a top priority, according to LakeWest Group’s 8th Annual POS Benchmarking Survey. More than a third of the multi-channel retailers operate in at least three channels.

Of the retailers that operate web sites, 40% still don’t have any integration between store and web site, the survey found, and only two-thirds give customers the ability to purchase a product on the site.

However, the majority of retailers surveyed have integrated return policies, gift card policies, and pricing and promotions across channels, according to LakeWest. Nearly three-quarters offer integrated pricing/promotions, two-thirds allow the use of stored value/gift cards across channels, and more than half allow returns to cross channels.

“Meeting customer expectations by simply having a presence in multiple channels is no longer a competitive advantage,” according to the report. “Your channels and your brand must all work together seamlessly to offer your customer a rewarding shopping experience.”

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