New Report Shows Mid-Sized Retailers Are Behind on Omnichannel Adoption

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Research report from the e-tailing group shows that only 32% of mid-sized retailers offer buy online, pick-up in-store for their customers

New Research Report: Why Omnichannel is Critical for Retailers of All Sizes

Today mid-market retailers must invest to unify their shopping experience, for both technology and personnel, or risk disappointing customers who have had their expectations set by the retail industry giants

Freestyle Solutions, a leading provider of order management software for retailers and brands, has sponsored a research report from the e-tailing group, an Astound Commerce company, entitled “Why Omnichannel is Critical for Retailers of All Sizes”. This qualitative and quantitative mystery shopping research exercise uncovered just how far retailers have progressed with their omnichannel initiatives while providing best practice recommendations for improvement.

The Premise of the Report
For this research report, the e-tailing group sought to understand how mid-market retailers are addressing omnichannel from a tactical execution standpoint in terms of both process and technology. With the term omnichannel being used for several years now, the goal was to determine which technologies have been most commonly adopted to unify the customer life-cycle at retailers who do not have endless IT budgets. In particular, the store’s accessibility to orders placed online.

The Methodology
The e-tailing group developed a hands-on mystery shopping research study where visits to retailers would reveal tangible data on inventory transparency, customer order information accessibility, and in-store mobile device availability for clienteling (save the sale and endless aisle consumer interactions). The methodology involved a pre-store setup that considered two types of shopping experiences: 1) buy online pickup in store and 2) place an order for return at a retail location. To assess each retailer’s performance, the e-tailing group visited the stores and engaged in a series of omnichannel activities and interacted with the available technologies, while closely monitoring the associate’s role in the process.

The Results
The results below clearly indicate that there is an untapped opportunity for mid-market retailers to deliver a more customer-centric shopping experience derived from investment in omnichannel initiatives. The study also found many of the sales channels are still siloed, and for those that have attempted omnichannel, a wide range of approaches have been used to cobble the systems or processes together (many of them manual in nature). Some of the quantitative analysis revealed:

  •     32% of retailers enabled in-store pickup for online purchases
  •     76% of the retailers can access inventory across the enterprise
  •     44% of retailers had an in-store product locator
  •     56% of retailers can access an online order through a POS system
  •     42% of store associates can access an online order using a packing slip or receipt in-store

“Today mid-market retailers must invest to unify their shopping experience, for both technology and personnel, or risk disappointing customers who have had their expectations set by the retail industry giants,” said Lauren Freedman, President, the e-tailing group, an Astound Commerce company. “The results showed that although some omnichannel investment has been made at mid-sized retailers, there is still a lot of room for improvement and these retailers must close the gap.”

“We were interested in sponsoring the e-tailing group’s research on this topic since so many of our 2,000 customers are looking to implement an omnichannel strategy using our order management solutions,” said Scott Todaro, chief marketing officer and executive vice president of sales. “Over the past 5 years, omnichannel requirements have become more and more complex and it is Freestyle Solutions’ goal to help mid-sized retailers quickly and economically meet the growing expectations from consumers.”

Click here to download the full report.

About Freestyle Solutions
Freestyle Solutions provides enterprise-class distributed order management solutions for high-growth retailers and brands, at a low cost of ownership. With Freestyle, retailers can obtain a unified view of consumers across all sales channels to optimize inventory and manage orders more efficiently. Available in both cloud and on premise delivery models, Freestyle software is highly scalable, configurable, and can be easily integrated with frontend, backend and other third party systems through RESTful APIs. Freestyle is a trusted and proven technology provider, with more than 2,000 customers and 30 years of expertise developing order management software. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @freestyleOMS.

About etail group, A Division of Astound Commerce
The e-tailing group is a division of Astound Commerce, an award-winning global digital commerce provider. We combine strategy, technology and interactive marketing services for many of the world’s favorite brands and retailers. With a broad set of technology, digital and e-business solutions, we can power every aspect of your online business, and integrate across all marketing channels. We work with the world’s leading technology providers to make sure your brand reaches its full potential in the digital space. We deliver enterprise-class digital commerce solutions on the industry leading platforms: Demandware, IBM WebSphere Commerce, SAP Hybris, and Magento®. We use these cutting-edge platforms to create flexible, customized solutions that are robust, capable, and ready to handle even the highest traffic volumes. To inquire about the mobile research or Astound Commerce strategy services, contact Lauren Freedman: l.freedman(at)astoundcommerce(dot)com, 773-975-7280.

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