Shoppers vs retailers: omnichannel shopping experiences

October 14, 2021 by
Sanne Leenders

Almost two thirds of shoppers say that a poor experience on any channel will make them less likely to shop again with a brand. A potentially damaging disconnect between what shoppers want from their omnichannel shopping experience and what retailers think shoppers want.

Research by Klarna shows that nine in ten (89%) shoppers use multiple channels to search and spend. Unsurprisingly 73% of retailers are looking to increase their investment in omnichannel strategies. However, faced with high consumer expectations, retailers could be in danger of misplacing investment – and alienating huge sways of consumers – unless they fully understand what their customers value about the retail experience.

Retailers misjudge the value of in-store offerings

Demonstrating a perception gap between retailers and shoppers, the majority of retailers (75%) consider themselves to be fairly or very sophisticated when it comes to omnichannel. Yet half (50%) of Klarna users believe retailers are not joined up enough between their online and in-store operations.

When it comes to shopping in physical stores, the research highlights that physical retail is still an important channel. Even for digital savvy shoppers – with half (51%) of Klarna users shopping at retailers’ physical stores. However, some retailers misjudge the extent to which shoppers value in-store offerings.

Retailers fail to appreciate the importance of a smooth experience

Shoppers are nearly twice as likely to value seeing and feeling items they are buying in real life (88%) than retailers (45%). Meanwhile, half (49%) of shoppers value being able to visit showrooms and see items in store, but pay online. Whereas only 32% of retailers think this adds value for customers. Moreover, retailers (36%) consider human sales assistants to be more important than they are, with only 26% of customers saying they add value to their in-store experience.

Retailers also fail to fully appreciate the importance of a smooth, easy experience when shopping online. 84% of Klarna shoppers say they value autofill functionality online. Only 33% of retailers think this adds value to the shopping experience. In addition, only 45% of retailers believe one click payments or check out adds significant value for their consumers. Whilst 65% of shoppers report this to be one of the most important aspects of their online shopping experience.

Retailers are getting on the right track

Whilst there are clear mismatches between retailer and shopper expectations, encouragingly many retailers are on the right track. With 76% of shoppers valuing the ability to check stock levels in-store via a website or app. It is assuring to find that 49% of retailers already offer this. And another 38% plan to introduce this over the next year. Meanwhile, three quarters of shoppers (74%) say flexible payment options add value to their shopping experience. However, just 50% of retailers currently offer this, but a further 34% plan to introduce this in the next twelve months.

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