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2023 Omnichannel Experience Index from Incisiv, Blue Yonder and Microsoft Reveals 93% of all Shopping Journeys Now Start Online

2023 Omnichannel Experience Index from Incisiv, Blue Yonder and Microsoft Reveals 93% of all Shopping Journeys Now Start Online

Several major retailers recognized as “Leaders” in annual report

Incisiv, in collaboration with Blue Yonder and Microsoft, released the 2023 Omnichannel Experience Index, assessing top retailers’ omni-channel capabilities and experiences across four key areas: Inventory Visibility, Frictionless Fulfillment, Cost and Payments, and 360-Degree Service.

“To win at the four key findings of this index, retailers need to unify their consumer and operational data that resides in disparate applications. Microsoft is on a mission to help retailers do this by enriching their data with additional data sources, providing access to insights across organizational silos”

The index found that shoppers are increasingly leveraging digital platforms, with 93% of all shopping journeys now starting online, up from 81% in 2020. For omni-channel retailers, ever-evolving shopper needs make it increasingly challenging to meet and exceed their expectations, thus foundational capabilities are required to address these expectations. The absence of these capabilities has a negative impact on not only digital performance KPIs, but also revenue and shopper satisfaction.

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Key findings of the report include:

  • Inventory Visibility: Inventory visibility is a must for shopper retention. Shoppers want to know exactly what products and services are available to them. Forty six percent of shoppers check stock availability online before making a purchase and 55% want to browse products online to see what’s available in nearby stores. The index found that 36% of retailers in the leader category provide real-time inventory status, while 67% of retailers assessed have inventory status callouts (e.g., selling fast, in-stock, out of stock, etc.).
  • Frictionless Fulfillment: Offering a complete flywheel of online and store-based fulfillment is now table stakes. The report found that 56% of shoppers have abandoned their carts due to concerns about delivery time. The index also found that 75% of shoppers expect their purchases to be delivered within two days or less, thus transparency about delivery timeline is vital. Displaying the delivery timeframe provides much-needed clarity to the shopper. However, only 9% of retailers show order dates per destination code on the product listings pages.
  • Cost and Payments: Loyalty in online shopping is low and shoppers’ expectations are at an all-time high. The report found that 45% of online shoppers defect for better deals and 79% of shoppers value u******** free delivery programs. Consumer electronics retailers are most likely to o**** free delivery at 40%. However, industry average adoption for free shipping on all orders is low at 11%.
  • 360-Degree Service: Post-sales service, including retailers’ return policies and engagement practices, directly contribute to shopper loyalty. The report found that 95% of shoppers will remain loyal to a retailer with a self-service return process and 49% of shoppers actively check retailer’s return policy before purchasing to seek convenient options. Even further, 86% of shoppers will pay 15% more for a seamless customer service experience. The index found that 62% of retailers now o**** the ability to initiate returns online, up from 51% in 2021.

Incisiv recognized 20 retailers and brands as “Leaders” in the 2023 Omnichannel Experience Index. Leaders o**** the richest omni-channel experience maturity across the four key areas of the index.

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“Retailers must curate omni-channel experiences that can keep up with the ever-evolving demands of shoppers. Shoppers are loyal to retailers that provide their ideal experience, therefore digital transformation in retail isn’t slowing down. In order to retain their shoppers, retailers must continue advancing their omni-channel capabilities and o**** a full-service experience so they can stay ahead of the competition. Blue Yonder, in collaboration with Microsoft, understands the complexity it takes to make these advancements and offers solutions to help retailers rapidly implement and delight their shoppers with new experiences,” said Erin Halka, senior director, Solution Strategy – Commerce, Blue Yonder.

“Retailers across sub-segments adopted digital capabilities at an accelerated pace over the last two years. The speed of digital transformation might appear to have slowed a bit on the frontend as retailers take a step back and shore up the capabilities to enable a seamless truly omni-channel experience,” said Gaurav Pant, chief insights officer, Incisiv. “However, shopper preferences are a moving target, and retailers must continue to continuously transform to meet expectations, especially as customer retention is getting increasingly difficult. A re-imagined omni-channel operating model aligned to evolving consumer needs will ensure retention. We conducted this study to help retailers understand how they compare to their peers, as well as identify high-impact improvement opportunities for digital transformation.”

“To win at the four key findings of this index, retailers need to unify their consumer and operational data that resides in disparate applications. Microsoft is on a mission to help retailers do this by enriching their data with additional data sources, providing access to insights across organizational silos,” said Shelley Bransten, corporate vice president, Global Retail & Consumer Goods Industries, Microsoft. “Blue Yonder’s solutions use Microsoft Azure to help retailers make more informed decisions to power their global supply chains.”

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