70% of retailers embrace omnichannel

Seventy percent of retailers said they have adopted an omnichannel strategy to link shoppers' in-store experiences with e-commerce, mobile and social media platforms. This strategy, according to the 2014 Retail Outlook Survey by KPMG, is meant to create a seamless shopping experience for the consumer.

In the survey, 53 percent of retail executives reported they feel ahead of their peers in omnichannel adoption. Spending this year has increased on the Web, according to 67 percent of those surveyed. And almost half, 47 percent, said spending increased in physical stores while 46 percent reported increased spending on social media platforms.

"Consumer preferences have evolved, and the omnichannel approach has become an imperative for organizations to provide their customers with the shopping experiences they demand," said Mark Larson, KPMG's U.S. and global retail sector leader. "Organizations that have adapted well to the rise of e-commerce, customer mobility and other technological disruptions of the last decade are showing some early signs of breaking away while others are still near the starting line. Regardless of where they are in the process, one thing is clear: Retailers have acknowledged the shopping habits of today's consumer and they are making transformational changes to embrace them."

Omnichannel strategies can be costly. As many as 53 percent of retailers said the cost and complexity of technology upgrades were their biggest challenge.

In addition, concerns over cyber security raised red flags among executives. As many as 77 percent of surveyed retailers said they shared their customers' personal and payment information across all channels to make the shopping experience easier.

Seventy percent of surveyed retailers said that moving forward, omnichannel would be used for customer retention and revenue growth over the next one to three years.

The growth of omnichannel has become a top priority for many retailers, including men's lifestyle retailer Haberdash. The company recently unveiled a new "convergence" concept that marries e-commerce with brick-and-mortar, which includes benefits such as online ordering and in-store pickup. Staples also announced the expansion of its omnichannel capabilities that include online payment with Visa Checkout, in-store kiosks and an iPad app.

For more:
-See this KPMG press release

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