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Tying Online/In-Store Channels Together

Nov 1, 2007

In-store tools and activities tying cross channel efforts together more smoothly might seem to be a natural complement to online marketing. A recent survey by The E-Tailing Group Inc. found less evidence of this than in the past. For example, the third annual, "Buy Online/Pick-up In-Store Study," found few improvements this year versus last in how merchants handled checkout in-store for merchandise that was ordered and prepaid online.

More than half, 54 percent of the 23 merchants reviewed in this year's study required a signature at the store. That compares with slightly more than 50 percent of the 18 merchants reviewed last year that required a signature. This year, 22 percent of the retailers required no additional checkout functions, which is slightly fewer than the 29 percent that did a year ago.

Nearly a quarter, 24 percent, this year were more stringent in requiring a second checkout process at the store to actually make the purchase, which was ordered but not prepaid online. "However, firm policies do not appear to always be in place as some store sales associates seem to follow their own rules," said E-Tailing Group president Lauren Freedman.

Other findings on multichannel integration showed a declining trend in the presence of distributed store circulars in-store. Just about half, 51 percent, of the stores used store circulars. That's in contrast to the 85 percent of merchants that did so in last year's study.

The current study also found fewer web enabled kiosks in stores than last year. Just 55 percent of the merchants used them, versus 57 percent a year ago. "Although this seems like a natural extension of web technology, maintenance in multiple locations has proven to be difficult," Freedman concluded.

Topic: Wholesale News

Related Articles: cross channel 

Article ID: 406

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