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Data and Technology Disconnects Damage In-Store Experience

New AI-driven tools can help bridge that gap, study says.

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PHOTOGRAPHY: monkeybusinessimages/iStock.com

What happens in the store shouldn’t stay in the store, a new study commissioned by Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions concludes. Significant disconnects between physical and digital commerce, and store and corporate leadership, are among the key barriers to improving the customer experience, the study conducted by Forrester Consulting for Toshiba has found.

That effort, which surveyed 346 high-volume store leaders and corporate level customer experience decision-makers, shows a pressing need for retailers to create more effective ways to generate customer data and insight from in-store shopping and to align their physical and digital commerce strategies and deployments.

Respondents report that an inability to digitize in-store customer data, outdated systems and a lack of tools to share insights and operational data are among the barriers to improving the in-store shopping experience.

Some specific findings along those lines:

  • 54 percent say systems are outdated and not connected.
  • 60 percent report too many disparate systems and tools hinder a cohesive view of their customers and operations.
  • 79 percent believe that corporate management does not prioritize unifying stores with digital commerce

Despite these challenges, the study revealed a crucial consensus among the participants: leveraging a new generation of A.I.-driven tools to synchronize physical and digital commerce has the potential to significantly empower store teams and lead to improving and evolving the customer experience.

Some specific findings related to that topic:

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  • 94 percent of respondents reported that incorporating customer data into the store is very or extremely impactful to the customer experience.
  • 91 percent said that their leadership currently sees those experiences as separate.

Click here for more about the survey.

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