Oct 12, 2021
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Omnichannel: retailers and shoppers have different expectations says Klarna

Oct 12, 2021

Be warned. A hefty 60% of shoppers say that a poor experience on any retail channel will make them less likely to shop again with a brand, according to research from buy-now-pay-later financier Klarna.

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Its ‘Owning Omnichannel: winning at clicks and bricks’ report says it “uncovers a potentially damaging disconnect between what shoppers want from their omnichannel shopping experience and what retailers think shoppers want”.

Its survey of Klarna shoppers and retailers show that with 89% of consumers are using multiple channels to search and spend, it’s unsurprising 73% of retailers are looking to increase their investment in omnichannel strategies, with an 8.16% average expected increase in spend. 

However, faced with high consumer expectations, retailers could be in danger of misplacing investment – and alienating huge numbers of consumers – unless they fully understand what their customers value about the retail experience, the report suggests.

Demonstrating a perception gap between retailers and shoppers, 75% of retailers consider themselves to be ‘fairly’ or ‘very sophisticated’ when it comes to omnichannel, yet half of Klarna users believe retailers are not joined up enough between their online and in-store operations.

Even for digital-savvy shoppers, the research highlights that physical retail is still an important channel, with 51% of consumers surveyed shop at bricks and mortar stores. However, some retailers misjudge the extent to which shoppers value in-store offerings.

Shoppers are nearly twice as likely to value seeing and feeling items they’re buying in real life (88% of shoppers vs 45% retailers). Meanwhile, 49% of shoppers value being able to visit showrooms and see items in-store, but pay online – whereas only 32% of retailers think this adds value for customers. 

What’s more, retailers consider human sales assistants to be more important than they are, with only 26% of customers saying they add value to their in-store experience, compared to 36% of retailers.

Retailers also fail to fully appreciate the importance of a smooth, easy experience when shopping online. Some 84% of shoppers say they value autofill functionality online, but only 33% of retailers think this adds value to the shopping experience. 

Meanwhile, only 45% of retailers believe one click payments or checkout adds significant value for their consumers, while 65% of shoppers report this to be one of the most important aspects of their online shopping experience. 

Alex Naughton, Head of Klarna UK & Ireland, said: “While there are clear mismatches between retailer and shopper expectations, encouragingly many retailers are on the right track. With 76% of shoppers valuing the ability to check stock levels in-store via a website or app, it’s assuring to find that 49% of retailers already offer this, and another 38% plan to introduce this over the next year”.

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