Retailers are struggling to unify offline and online experiences

A strong majority of retailers feel their current technology and infrastructure is preventing them from moving forward with new omnichannel solutions, a new survey has shown.

The survey, done by cloud-based financials firm NetSuite and conducted by RSR Research, also shows that retailers face significant challenges getting new technologies rolled out to stores. A problem is also in helping employees respond to informed, smartphone-enabled shoppers.

That ‘strong majority’ includes 95 per cent of retailers, which agree that the store and the digital experience must be brought together for a continuous, seamless experience.

The findings also include that 77 per cent of retailers believe their legacy point-of-sale (POS) is preventing them from providing a consistent customer experience across channels, while 78 per cent report getting new technologies rolled out to stores is a top challenge.

Moreover, 94 per cent of retailers say inventory insight across all channels is important, while 95 per cent say real-time visibility into customer activity across all channels is important.

Today’s highly connected consumers expect fluid and relevant interactions where their information with the brand is never lost across channels. Unfortunately, too many retailers still treat the in-store experience as completely separate from the online experience which frustrates customers and prevents retailers from capitalizing on opportunities for cross-sell, upsell and improved customer loyalty.

Luckily for everyone, NetSuite’s got a solution, called SuiteCommerce InStore, a system which “integrates comprehensive omnichannel capabilities into an enterprise-class, mobile-first, POS solution that seamlessly unifies the online and in-store customer journey”, as the company says about its product in the press release.

By providing ecommerce and point of sale on a single unified platform, retail associates have access to a comprehensive, 360-degree view of the customer from the store floor, where they can access the products customers have added to their ecommerce shopping carts or wish lists at the POS and then add them to an in-store transaction with a few clicks.

Alternatively, retail associates can add the products shoppers want to save for later to their ecommerce wish lists. SuiteCommerce InStore also provides visibility into inventory anywhere in the business, enabling the ability to combine different fulfilment models such as cash-and-carry and ship-to-home in a single transaction.

The company says more than 24,000 firms and subsidiaries use NetSuite, including some FORTUNE 100 companies.