The In-Store Channel Still the Top Priority for Retailers - eMarketer

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The In-Store Channel Still the Top Priority for Retailers

Social media was the top priority for just 19% of retail executives

June 10, 2016

Despite the ever-growing importance of online shopping and customer experiences, improving the in-store customer experience is still US retail execs’ top priority. Nearly half of retail executives said so, more than any other customer engagement channel.

Channel that Is Top Priority for Improving the Customer Experience in 2016 According to US Retail Executives (% of respondents)

While social media and general digital channels are also the top priority for a number of retail executives—together, they total 33% of respondents—TimeTrade’s report highlights that for all the hype surrounding email campaigns, digital engagement and so on, in-store experiences are still the ones that matter most to nearly half of those surveyed.

That focus is reflected when retail executives divulge their current customer experience personalization tactics vs. those they plan to employ in the next 18 months.

Current vs. Planned* Customer Experience Personalization Tactics Used by Their Company According to US Retail Executives, April 2016 (% of respondents)

While 74% of retail executives say they train in-store associates to provide a personalized customer experience—the highest of any response—even more retail executives plan to do so in the months to come. Eighty-three percent cited it as a tactic they will focus on, 20 points higher than the No. 2 planned tactic, targeted marketing campaigns.

But when it comes to things like social selling—the act of getting to know customers via social networks—retail executives are actually growing disinterested in using such tactics to provide personalized customer experiences. A little more than half say they currently do such a thing, but only 49% plan to do so in the next 18 months.

So while digital outreach and personalization aren’t exactly separate, for US retail executives, in-store experiences remain the biggest priority to customer experience personalization.

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