"Understanding omnichannel starts with data—both private, in-house customer data as well as social media insights and other public information—that enables retailers to uniquely identify customers and products across channels, shedding light on their activities and preferences."
Shoppers want it all, and they want it now. They want to shop seamlessly across devices, anywhere and anytime. They want online visibility into product inventory, store-based fulfillment of web orders and a range of delivery and pickup options. They want personalized offers when they’re in stores, and additional incentives when they’re nearby. And because they no longer see any distinction between the online and offline retail realms, they want merchants to see the world the exact same way.
Retailers are racing to keep pace, investing in personnel, processes and technology in order to meet the heightened expectations of the omnichannel age. Based on the findings of a survey of more than 250 store managers published earlier this year by JDA Software Group, 62% of U.S. merchants now connect their brick-and-mortar stores to their desktop and mobile experiences to offer consumers an evolving range of services.
The investment is not yet paying off, however. Retailers admit that omnichannel success remains a cipher wrapped inside an enigma smothered in secret sauce, which they blame in large part on the absence of quality customer data insights, according to the results of a survey released this spring by Periscope, a unit of management consultancy McKinsey Solutions....
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