82% of global in-store purchases influenced by online channels according to latest research from Manhattan Associates
ATLANTA, Oct. 11, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Manhattan Associates Inc. (NASDAQ: MANH) has announced the findings of its latest international research, highlighting the need for retailers to keep up with the pace of evolving consumer expectations. It also revealed a retail landscape where the lines between physical and digital commerce are becoming increasingly blurred.
The global retail industry has grown accustomed to disruption. Over the past decade, it has witnessed seismic structural shifts as the sector transformed for the digital era and the pandemic upended shopping habits further, thrusting billions of consumers into a more digital world.
We are witnessing a period of evolution and recalibration, as it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish between physical and digital retail.
“Shopping habits have changed forever,” commented Ann Sung Ruckstuhl, Manhattan’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer. “There can be no return to the status quo, with 83% of global retailers now claiming they operate a level of interconnection between their online and in-store functions.”
“As the retail industry recalibrates for this next normal, the ability to navigate disruption, while enhancing the physical and digital customer experience will become increasingly important; as will the technologies that allow retailers to fulfil in-store and online orders in an agile, sustainable and profitable fashion,” Ruckstuhl continued.
A single view of inventory
When it comes to fulfilment, the ‘one size fits all’ approach no longer works, and retailers are reacting to this.
Natalie Berg, retail analyst, author and founder of NBK Retail added, “While the vast majority of globally surveyed retailers stated that they have a level of interconnection between their online and in-store functions (83%), specifically in the US only around half are offering buy in-store and return online (52%), or buy online and return in-store (55%). And, only 3% of US retailers believed that they had an accurate overview of their inventory across their entire business (in-store and online) 100% of the time.
“Shoppers today expect to shop on their own terms with 80% considering the comfort of home delivery as the most important delivery method, 40% choosing click & collect, followed by contactless/curbside pickup at 34%. US shoppers are also looking for instant gratification with 30% considering same day home delivery very important. These findings highlight the importance of offering consumers choices when it comes to fulfilment options and the need for retailers to possess a single view of inventory, as keeping that all important customer promise just got a whole lot more complicated,” Berg commented.
This is clearly in sync with the priorities of the retailers since they listed checking stock availability (66%) as the most important customer-facing duties performed by their shop assistants. In-store handheld devices provided a consolidated view of inventory across the network – shops, distribution centers, in-transit (77%), and view of customer transactions online and in-store (73%).
Modern stores mirror the modern consumer
Almost a quarter of consumers (26%) now expect shop assistants to be able to check availability in a nearby store if a product is out of stock, or order that product for home delivery or collection (15%), highlighting the blending of the physical and digital retail spaces.
Ruckstuhl continued: “Interestingly, almost two-thirds (66%) of retailers agreed that checking stock availability was a top customer-facing duty performed by their shop assistants in 2022. Consumers also want more digital self-service. While 31% of consumers still favor traditional sales checkout in-store, 29% would like to use self-checkout on the shop floor, or use digital methods such as Scan and Go (12%), or checkout with a shop assistant via a mobile device (6%).
“Over the last decade bricks & mortar spaces were seen as liabilities in a digital era. However, the perception of the physical store has been fundamentally changed by the impact of the pandemic.
“Today, many retailers are reevaluating the roles of their stores, recognizing their added value as strategic hubs for online sales, not least as a fulfilment hub for click & collect, returns, endless aisles, same-day delivery and more. While digitalization and frictionless shopping are certainly two of the big winners from the pandemic, the research shows that we should not be too quick to discount the importance of human interaction or the role of the physical store in the era of digital commerce,” finished Ruckstuhl.
Additional research findings
- 49% of consumers reported environmental/sustainability efforts were important or top considerations when choosing where and with whom to shop and 51% of consumers were okay with their delivery taking more than 2 days
- 27% of retailers believe creating a more environmentally aware and sustainable supply chain is one of their top three priorities for 2023
- 77% of retailers provide shop assistants with handheld devices that show a consolidated view of inventory across the network (shops, distribution centers, in-transit)
- If a return is made in-store, 100% of retailers make the product available for resale with 40% making it available online, 29% putting it on the shop floor and 27% doing both
- 66% of retailers reported that they are now operating micro-fulfilment strategies in efforts to service the numerous channels used by today’s hybrid consumers
- The most common reasons for consumers to start the shopping experience online were to make sure the product is in stock (45%), read reviews (42%), find the best offers (39%) and to find out more about the product before making the purchase (39%),
- 69% of consumers would like to have a choice of couriers to fulfil the delivery, with delivery dates and different cost options
If you have been interested by any of the research findings or emerging trends and would like to find out more, you can download the full report ‘Recalibrating for the Next Normal’ here.
*RESEARCH METHODOLOGY AND SAMPLE SIZE
3,500 adult (18+ years’ old) consumers were surveyed about their sentiment and attitudes towards the role of the physical store, innovative fulfilment options, inventory visibility, convenience, consistency across channels and the shift in commerce.
700 management or senior-level retailer respondents, representing Tier 1 retail organisations (generating more than $100m in annual revenue) and operating stores and online, in Grocery, Consumer Electronics, DIY and Home Improvement, Beauty, Sporting Goods, Fashion and Pets sectors were surveyed about their technology-based investment plans to support ecommerce, reduce customer friction, and increase fulfilment options.
Consumer and retailer respondents were based in the following countries: France (500), Germany (500), Italy (500), The Netherlands (500), UK (500) and USA (1,000).
ABOUT MANHATTAN ASSOCIATES
Manhattan Associates is a technology leader in supply chain and omnichannel commerce. We unite information across the enterprise, converging front-end sales with back-end supply chain execution. Our software, platform technology and unmatched experience help drive both top-line growth and bottom-line profitability for our customers. Manhattan Associates designs, builds and delivers leading edge cloud solutions so that across the store, through your network or from your fulfilment center, you are ready to reap the rewards of the omnichannel marketplace. For more information, please visit www.manh.com.
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