PwC Predicts Omnichannel Growing Pains This Holiday Season

Oct 23, 2015 — Allan Pulga

MarketWatch's Tonya Garcia reported (Oct. 20) that a recent NRF survey found 46.5% of consumers who buy gifts online plan to pick up purchases in-store this holiday season. Can retailers handle this kind of demand?

Steven Barr, U.S. retail consumer leader for PwC, doesn't think so. Garcia quotes Barr in saying many retailers' omnichannel capabilities remain "aspirational." Barr says managing inventory at the store level is still a common issue, adding that "no one is close to having a model in place to manage this."

NRF predicts 46.5% of online gift buyers will pick up purchases in-store this holiday season.

This doesn't mean major retailers like Best Buy aren't going to give it a shot. The electronics chain is offering free shipping on all orders this holiday season, on all purchases made between Oct. 25 and Jan. 2.

Best Buy is waiving the $35 mininum purchase to qualify for free shipping as well, Retail Dive reports.

Meanwhile, Mobile Commerce Daily reported (Oct. 31) Sears is offering new options for appliance buyers, who can choose free shipping to their home or to a nearby store for pickup. (But it's kind of a no-brainer to have an appliance delivered to your home for free, isn't it?) Sears has also introduced a "Meet with an Expert" feature that lets online shoppers book an appointment with a local store associate, in order to improve cross-channel customer service and shopping experiences.

Topics: Retail Operations, Wireless Trends, Customer Experience

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