You might assume that retailers across the world are equally enthused about the opportunities offered by the omnichannel, but there are great variations in how retailers are building a strategy according to a new report by the European research firm PAC.

PAC interviewed over 200 business and IT leaders at retailers across Europe. They found that although three quarters of these managers say that the physical store will remain important, the majority say that mobile and online interactions with customers will become much more important in future.

The difference in attitude towards the omnichannel is starkly highlighted by some of the figures from the study:

  • 85% of German retailers expect the store to become more strategically important vs. 62% in the UK;
  • 60% of retailers in the Netherlands already use their physical stores as a collection point for online orders vs. only 30% in France and Germany;
  • 70% of UK retailers track increases in Net Promoter Score as a key measure of the success of their omnichannel strategy, vs. 56% in Italy.

Over 80% of retailers in this study said that the development of a long-term channel strategy was a major or clear challenge, indicating that it is an issue for the top executives and not just a technology issue. However, around 50% of all companies in the study are planning a significant IT investment within the next two years. Working with the omnichannel is seen as a strategic issue for the entire company, but it requires technology solutions to be addressed.

Despite the differences in present-day adoption, I think that it is encouraging to see these final statistics. They indicate that retailers see the omnichannel not only as an issue that requires technical solutions, but also as a strategic imperative for the entire organisation.

What do you think about the deployment of omnichannel solutions? Does your organisation consider it to be a technology issue or a channel strategy that affects the entire business?

Let me know in the comments below, or connect with me on LinkedIn.