A recent NTT Data Services study found that retailers who offer a frictionless purchasing experience saw a 48% boost in revenue and a 45% increase in income compared to peers who offered a poor purchasing experience.
And by offering consumers the best possible customer experience throughout the lifecycle, these forward-thinking, omnichannel retailers are feeling the impact on their bottom line.
The study looked at four possible friction points including product search, information transparency, purchase availability and customer service. The brands that came out on top offer a smooth transition from online purchase to in-store pickup, a streamlined purchase flow, an inventory tie-in, straightforward customer expectations and clear communications.
So what are the pain points that are causing so many others friction?
Those surveyed named pop-up ads, repetitive processes and too many decision points as pain points that often result in higher shopping cart abandonment or postpurchase dissatisfaction.
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And 35% of all friction from BOPIS purchases is related to technology. More specifically, consumers complained about excessive keystrokes, page navigations and absence of search filters, plus speed.
NTT Data’s assessment looked at friction points across 15 top-tier retail company websites including Ace Hardware, Amazon, Auto Zone, Best Buy, Cabela’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Dollar Tree, Home Depot, Kohls, Lowe’s, Office Depot, Sears, Target, Walgreens and Walmart. So what really set the top-ranking retailers—Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart—apart?
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Matthew Leach, VP, business analysis and project management practice, NTT Data, says these retailers do three things very well:
- First, they set clear expectations with their customers and then execute flawlessly to meet or surpass those expectations.
- Second, these companies use knowledge of their inventory, customers and location data to provide a smooth transition between online ordering and in-store pickup.
- Third, throughout the transaction, the best companies proactively communicate with customers, keeping them engaged and giving them the information necessary to complete fulfillment.
"Too many organizations have executed an omnichannel strategy by bolting new channels onto their existing operations, as opposed to integrating them into a single multichannel experience (online, mobile app, etc.)," Leach told FierceRetail. "The result is a multichannel purchase transaction that is by no means a frictionless experience. The retail industry needs to refocus efforts on integrating siloed business processes, applications and even organizations. This will help remedy customer experience challenges and present a more unified experience to the customer."
Leach reports that there were several study results that came as a surprise, the biggest being the variation in customer experiences across some of the most successful retailers in the world.
As an example, Leach cites the fulfillment prices, or as he calls it, "The backbone of any retail transaction." Only 33% of organizations had a product ready for in-store pickup within one hour of the order being placed. And 50% could not fulfill an order the same day it was placed.