‘Physical stores are the weak link in Swedish omnichannel’

‘Physical stores are the weak link in Swedish omnichannel’

Consumers in Sweden don’t think highly of traditional stores, it seems. A third of shoppers expect to be disappointed by the in-store experience and one in four think the store is outdated when compared to online shopping. The in-store journey should be more connected with customers’ online shopping habits if Swedish retailers want to improve their conversions, a study suggests.

The research was done by iVend Retail and Swedish retail systems provider Retail Store and suggests that the physical stores could be the weak link in Swedish retailers’ omnichannel chain. A lot of retail companies in Sweden do want to integrate omnichannel journey, but still consumers are more and more disappointed by their in-store experiences when compared to online.

‘Service online more personal than in-store’

Retailers gather lots of interesting data around a shopper’s behavior online, such as frequency of purchase or buying preferences, but when this shopper enters a physical store the data isn’t available. A quarter of Swedish consumers said the service they received online was more personal than in-store. A similar amount of people also said the physical store felt outdated when they compare it with the online experience. “And 17% even said they felt like a retailer’s ‘friend’ online, but anonymous in the store”, the study writes.

The lion’s share of Swedish consumers (78%) would like retailers to have a single view of them, meaning they connect the consumer’s online and offline shopping habits. This way interactions in-store would be more personal and the buying journey could be completed without any hassles.

‘Keep the customer on the path to purchase’

“Retailers should look to digitalize their physical outlets using customer data and a single view of stock to deliver more tailored and connected interactions”, Anna-Lena Lööf from Retail Store comments. “By equipping store associates with devices that are linked to back-end systems, they can bring the online experience to customers at the shelf edge, keeping the customer on the path to purchase.”

More than half of Swedish shoppers don’t differentiate between channels, they just shop there were it’s most convenient to them at the time. And that’s why retailers should put more effort into delivering a seamless journey.

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