An annual survey conducted by Sterling Commerce highlights the increasing demand for an integrated shopping experience across multiple retail channels.

According to the survey results from January 2009 –

  • 57% of ecommerce customers wanted the ability to return items to a store after purchasing them online. (The number was 41% in 2008)
  • 35% wanted the ability to pick up items at a store after ordering online. (The number was 17% in 2008).
  • 33% wanted both call center and store personnel to have a record of what they have purchased from the retailer in the past, regardless of whether it was from the store, online, or via a call center.

Though these results are from a year ago, they highlight the increasing need for an integrated inventory management system for multi-channel e-commerce merchants.

How are multi channel retailers responding to this trend? According to a survey conducted by AMR Research –

  • 34% of retailers offered a buy online, pick up in-store program in 2009
  • 44% expected to implement such a service by the end of 2010


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