Roughly 8 in 10 retailers agree that the future of online commerce lies more with cross-channel or merged channel capabilities, per results from a new study [download page] from RSR Research. As online and offline channels merge, about three-quarters of the retailers surveyed agree that their e-commerce platform will ultimately become their digital platform across all channels. But, some remain reluctant to extend their e-commerce platforms to other parts of the organization.
For example, while relatively few respondents have no future plans to extend their e-commerce platform to the point-of-sale (36%) or to converge with their mobile platform (27%), a slight majority have no plans to use their e-commerce capabilities for in-store kiosks or to support in-store employees in the form of handheld applications.
There are major differences in attitudes when sorting the respondents by sales success, though. For example, 30% of “double-digit winners” (those with comparable store/channel sales growth exceeding 10%) are already using e-commerce to support their in-store employees, while 7 in 10 “laggards” (growth less than 3%) aren’t even considering this extension of their e-commerce platform.
Those differences play out on the broader spectrum, too. 6 in 10 “double-digit winners” strongly agree that their e-commerce platform will ultimately become their cross-channel digital platform, but only 21% of “laggards” concur. It’s worth noting, though, that the sample sizes are extremely small – as “double-digit winners” comprise just 10% of the 140-odd sample.
Even so, as the authors note, “as long as the foundation is solid, supporting current and future channels with one foundation makes all the sense in the world.”
About the Data: The RSR online survey was conducted in September and October 2013, receiving answers from 137 qualified retail respondents. A majority have 2011 revenue of less than $5 million, and 79% have their headquarters in the USA.