The relationship between the digital and in-store experiences has been a hot topic for marketers in recent years. As shoppers continue to adopt the mobile and online platforms for retail shopping, it’s become imperative that brands stay on the cutting edge of technology in customer experience and issue resolution.
 
One such omnichannel platform, Kibo, took a look at how exactly this bridge between in-person and digital is being built in its latest research, “In-Store Meets Online: Unifying the Retail Customer Experience.” The report seeks to examine how the integration of disparate data sources—across all channels—is nearly a necessity for brands looking to engage shoppers.
 
“As customers approach ecommerce, their expectations go beyond that single channel into a connected commerce environment that retailers must be prepared to deliver,” reads an excerpt from the Kibo report. “To do so, they must effectively bridge the gap between consumers' digital and in-store shopping patterns, and drive traffic between the two without losing consumers' business and their loyalty. Retailers have made progress in this direction – however, on a relatively untested landscape, concerns over investing in new technologies have delayed important steps forward.”
 
According to the research, just under 25% of respondents indicated that they have no targeted or personalized marketing in place. While this number undoubtedly continues to shrink as more brands come to terms with the distinct benefits that come with the practice, it also portrays the fact that the technology and processes needed to take this step are simply out of reach for the available resources of many retailers.
 
This discrepancy is further supported by the fact that more than half of those surveyed said that their current technology “won’t support omnichannel retail functions such as ship-from-store, in-store pickup, and save the sale.” Regardless of organizational capabilities, however, consumers demand nothing less than seamless omnichannel communication.
 
On a more promising note, more than 75% of retailers are helping to bridge the digital gap by bringing mobile tablets into the shopping experience. Arming employees with these devices enables them to assist customers in ways that had previously been impossible. For example, associates are now able to check inventory at other locations from the sales floor, an advantage that makes all the difference in providing customers with a seamless experience. 

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