First, the good news: Grocery leads all retail segments with buy online, pick up in-store, according to new research from Incisiv and Genesys. But what their 2022 Omnichannel Service Index—spanning 102 retailers, 110 digital capabilities and eight industry segments to benchmark retailers’ ability to provide a seamless customer service experience across channels—also finds is the more sobering news that only 15% of retailers offer a differentiating omnichannel customer service experience.
While omnichannel customer service is a table stakes expectation among shoppers, said industry insights firm Incisiv, the degree of service varies dramatically among both industry segments as well as individual retailers. WGB further explored the customer service divide between the omnichannel leaders and laggards in a recent report based on the third annual Digital Benchmark Study from Incisiv.
Though the retail industry has made significant advancements in providing better visibility into promotions and order tracking, it still significantly lags in expert assistance, order modifications post purchase and making shoppers’ order history available to customer service agents, according to the new report from Incisiv and Genesys. Specific to grocery, the report revealed that the sector ranks last in providing visibility into search history, with only 13% of grocers providing this service.
When it comes to grocery’s omnichannel customer service experience leaders in purchase, Incisiv points to Albertsons, BJ’s, Target, H-E-B, Publix, Kroger and Whole Foods Market.
It further finds that only two grocers—Walmart and Target—make the list of overall leaders in omnichannel customer service experience.
Many retailers are playing catch up when it comes to the omnichannel experience, the report noted. One in two brick-and-mortar retailers are “Laggards” or “Followers” in terms of omnichannel customer service, said Incisiv, which adds that90% of shoppers begin their buying journey online, yet only 30% of shoppers are satisfied with the service offered during the discovery phase of the experience.
This year, Incisiv recognizes 20 retailers and brands as Omnichannel Customer Service Leaders, including Ace Hardware, Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Macy’s, REI, Target and Walmart. The complete list of leaders is available for download.
“The past two years have impacted humanity in deep and transformative ways, including what we, as shoppers, value. Retailers will have to build and refine capabilities to serve these new expectations,” said Amarjot Mokha, COO of Incisiv, in a statement. “Our goal with the Omnichannel Customer Service Index is to help retailers identify high-impact improvement opportunities based on a nuanced view of what drives superior customer service,” he continued. “Adopting foundational and advanced capabilities can help retailers improve their digital performance KPIs and competitive strategy by promptly adapting to consumers’ omnichannel service needs.”
The Incisiv assessment methodology spans over 110 measurable attributes across three areas of retailers’ service experience, including discovery, purchase and 360-degree service. Attributes are categorized as table stakes or differentiating, based on their impact on key digital performance metrics such as average order value and conversion, notes the company. The index assesses a total of 102 retailers across eight retail segments.