October 9, 2009, 12:00 AM

Retailers still have work to do in cross-channel strategies, study says

Multichannel retailers are making progress in offering shopping services across channels, but some still fail to use the cross-channel experience to increase sales, The E-tailing Group says in a new study.

Katie Evans

Managing Editor, International Research

Multichannel retailers are making progress in offering shopping services across channels, but some still fail to use the cross-channel experience to increase sales, The E-tailing Group says in a new study.

“Many retailers are not taking full advantage of online or in-store opportunities to sell and service the cross-channel customer,” says E-tailing Group president Lauren Freedman, who authored the study, “The Web as the Cross-Channel Hub: 5th Annual E-tailing Group Cross-Channel Shopping Survey.”

Three particular areas where retailers are missing the mark, she adds, are in failing to provide same-day or next-day in-store pickup of products ordered online; not training store clerks to cross-sell to online shoppers who arrive to pick up web orders; and not displaying across each retail channel integrated merchandising, promotions and marketing material.

Following are metrics revealed in the study, showing percent of participation by retailers this year related to in-store pickup of online orders:

  • Same-day pickup, 39%
  • Free shipping to store, 96%
  • In-store pickup location at store customer service area, 14%
  • Designated pickup counter, 29%
  • In-store signage related to in-store pickup of online orders, 41%
  • Notice of in-store pickup option on web site home page, 41%; on product page, 78%; in shopping cart, 70%
  • Product ready and waiting for in-store pickup, 88%
  • Store associates locate merchandise quickly, 80%
  • Store associates knowledgeable and helpful, 88%
  • E-mail message saying order is ready for pickup, 53%
  • Phone call or e-mail saying order is ready for pickup

The study also noted that the average in-store wait time for customers picking up online orders was 2.74 minutes this year, compared to 2.58 minutes in last year’s study.

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