Consumers want more omnichannel experiences, survey finds

The majority of UK shoppers would like retailers to offer a more seamless experience between online and offline through innovative technologies such as augmented reality and AI chatbots.

Zara launched an AR app earlier this year - Zara

This was one of the key findings from a survey of 1,000 shoppers, conducted by leading full service e-commerce agency, PushON, to determine the importance of omnichannel features for consumers.

It found that 52% of Britons believe retailers need to adopt a more omnichannel approach to retain their custom, as more than 80% of shoppers still prefer to shop in brick-and-mortar stores because they can view the products before making a purchase.

Furthermore, the experience of picking up and touching a product makes 45% of shoppers feel more reassured that they’re making the right when shopping in store, compared to buying online.

But it’s not all bad news for online brands, as augmented reality can mirror the real-life experience and 40% of consumers would like to see this technology used more by retailers.

Additionally, 32% of those surveyed would like to use online services such as AI chatbots to receive instant answers to their questions.

“It’s clear from our research that in order for shoppers to part with their money online, they must receive the same level of reassurance that they would in a bricks and mortar store,” says Sam Rutley, managing director of PushON.

“Without the physical ability for customers to experience the tactile nature of a product or to obtain advice from a sales assistant, online retailers must provide the virtual ‘next best thing’ through the implementation of technology.

“From AR enabling a 360 degree view of a product, to AI chatbots allowing for questions to be answered in real-time, brands can now accurately reflect the service provided by a physical store to ensure that they don’t miss out on custom from either entity.”

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