83% of online retailers expect to implement an omnichannel strategy within the next 18 months

Over four-fifths (83 per cent) of online retailers believe they will have implemented an omnichannel strategy by October 2015.

The survey, conducted by SLI Systems, found that mobile is the channel considered key to the successful implementation of an omnichannel strategy with 100 per cent citing it as the most important platform.

Tablet (97 per cent), online (95 per cent), bricks-and-mortar (61 per cent) and kiosk (15 per cent) were all noted as well.

The data was gathered during the SLI Connect conference earlier this month, where over 100 brands including Kingfisher, Wickes, Chemist Direct, Snow+Rock, French Connection, Faberge and LED Hut were interviewed about the omnichannel shopping experience.

Analysis suggested that online-only brands view omnichannel as a method of integrating site experience with mobile phones and tablets, while more traditional retailers are interested in how their high street shops and catalogues can fit into a customer-centric strategy that also includes online and mobile.

“Both communities are trying to use omnichannel to play to their strengths. Pure-play e-commerce businesses are seeking to stick with the model that brought them success in the first place – keeping overhead low and focusing on the techniques that drive online business growth,” said Tim Callan, chief marketing officer at SLI Systems.

“On the other hand, bricks-and-mortar retailers are trying to exploit the advantages that come with having physical locations in the same neighbourhoods where their customers live.”

He added that ultimately, “the best omnichannel organisations are those that offer the customer the same value, benefits and service options regardless of how they come to you”.

When asked the metrics they expected to use to measure the success of omnichannel, 80 per cent of retailers said they plan to measure success through sales. Over half (53 per cent) plan to measure through customer experience, 21 per cent through customer sentiment and 18 per cent will measure success based on brand reach.

Despite 85 per cent of respondents saying that they would be implementing new technologies to support the deployment of onmichannel strategies, only 36 per cent actually have new budget to do so.

The rest said they will have to repurpose existing budgets.