Grocery chains cited for excellence in omnichannel customer service

Walmart, Target, The Kroger Co. and Albertsons Cos. are among grocery retailers named as leaders in omnichannel customer service in a new study by digital retail and brand researcher Incisiv.

Jacksonville, Fla.-Based Incisiv’s 2022 Omnichannel Customer Service Index released yesterday compared 102 retailers across eight industries and 110 digital capabilities. Companies were assessed in three main areas: customer engagement and speed of service (effectiveness of customer service interactions, covering 55 attributes), purchasing (ease of placing and receiving orders, 35 attributes) and discovery (availability of information and assistance at each step, 20 attributes).

Mass merchants Walmart and Target were among 16 retailers and brands recognized as global leaders in omnichannel customer service. Other chains included such popular retailers as Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Best Buy, Ulta Beauty, Sephora, Bed Bath & Beyond, Belk, Ace Hardware, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Lane Bryant and REI.

“Leaders deliver the richest omnichannel customer service experience within and across retail segments. They lead to the adoption of differentiated experiences and are functionally mature in most areas of assessment, ”said Incisiv in the study, conducted in partnership with Genesys, a provider of customer experience and centralized solutions. omnichannel contact.

Incisive

Food retailers represented seven of the 16 companies ranked as leaders in omnichannel customer service in purchasing, including Albertsons, BJ’s Wholesale Club, HEB, Publix Super Markets, Target, Kroger and Whole Foods Market.

The Incisiv report noted that grocers have made “huge strides” in accomplishing it – particularly in the online shopping-in-store pickup (BOPIS) service, where the adoption rate of 83% of the grocery industry exceeded the average of 78% in all sectors (55% for pcik sidewalk. This is the key, as 85% of shoppers want to use BOPIS more often. purchase, however, only 6% of assessed grocers offer the option for agents to help with payments, well below the retail industry average of 36%.

“Grocers and general merchandise retailers offer the most advanced ordering and fulfillment capabilities, such as the ability to contact order pickers, flexible delivery and pickup options, expedited delivery and order tracking. in real time, ”according to Incisiv. “While 55% of retailers allow buyers to cancel an order, only 25% of retailers in all formats offer the ability to edit an order (add / remove items) themselves once it is placed.”

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Grocery retailers are lagging behind in the other two key areas of omnichannel service. None were among the retail leaders in discovery, and grocers had the lowest adoption rates in terms of search history visibility (13% vs. an industry average of 34%. retail) and agents’ ability to provide product information (29% vs. 82% average).

Target and Walmart were among the omnichannel leaders in customer service and engagement, with the grocery store showing the highest on-demand live chat adoption at 92% versus an 80% retail average. , according to the study Incisiv. Still, the grocers assessed showed the lowest uptake of chat agents’ ability to help customers with returns, at a rate of 43% versus an average of 87%.

“Department stores and clothing stores have strong service capabilities in the form of availability of service information, customer service channels, chat options and live support,” Incisiv observed in The report. “Food retailers, on the other hand, due to the volume and nature of the products, have the less mature customer service capabilities. “

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Overall, only 15% of retailers surveyed offer a differentiating omnichannel customer service experience, according to Incisiv. Additionally, Incisiv identified one in two physical retailers as “lagging” or “following” in terms of omnichannel customer service.

The other key findings are as follows:

• 90% of shoppers start their shopping journey online (via product research), but only 30% are satisfied with service in the discovery phase of the experience.

• Research is the # 1 friction area for clients. Only 32% are satisfied with the search and filtering capabilities of retailer websites.

• 70% of buyers who put items in their shopping cart abandon their planned purchase. Twenty percent of shoppers say they would abandon their cart due to a long checkout process (i.e. more than three steps).

• 62% of customers whose online transaction failed will not return to the retailer.

• 89% of buyers are more likely to buy again after a positive customer service experience.

• 91% of customers consider the ability of merchants to listen to them and understand their issues as the most important element of the service.

“The past two years have had a profound and transformative impact on humanity, including what we as buyers value. Retailers will need to develop and refine their capabilities to meet 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. Adopting fundamental and advanced capabilities can help retailers improve their digital performance KPIs and competitive strategy by quickly adapting to consumers’ omnichannel service needs.

Other food, pharmaceutical and mass retailers assessed in the Incisiv study included Amazon, Costco Wholesale, CVS Health, Dollar General, Dollar Tree / Family Dollar, Hy-Vee, Kmart, Meijer, Rite Aid, ShopRite, Walgreens and Wegmans Food Markets.


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