The SLI Connect end user conference in London recently brought together more than 100 e-commerce thought leaders to discuss best practices, plans for the coming year and SLI’s role in achieving their goals.

During the event, SLI conducted a survey of leading retail brands including Kingfisher, Wickes, Snow+Rock, French Connection and Faberge, exploring their opinions on the importance of, urgency of and correct approach to providing a true omnichannel shopping experience.

As discussed this week in a press release, the survey revealed some interesting findings, including:

  • 83% of brands expect to have an omnichannel strategy in place within 18 months
  • 100% of brands see mobile as a key channel
  • 85% of brands are implementing new technologies to go omnichannel
  • 64% of brands are going omnichannel through repurposed budgets
  • Online-only and offline e-commerce retailers have different understandings of omnichannel, with few online-only brands exploring offline opportunities

Of the channels identified by respondents as the most important to their omnichannel strategy, the answers showed:

  • mobile – 100%
  • tablet – 97%
  • online – 95%
  • bricks-and-mortar – 61%
  • kiosk – 15%

David Kohn, multichannel director for Snow+Rock commented on the research findings, saying: “As a business who has bricks-and-mortar stores as well as online, we see delivering a consistent customer experience through all channels as both our key challenge and our key opportunity. The survey suggests we are not alone in this.”

The survey findings tell us that solution providers like SLI need to continue to focus on helping retail brands adapt their online strategy to multiple channels. Many SLI customers are working with us to streamline their mobile sites. At the same time, we see an increasing number of our clients applying the learning in our search to other areas of their sites – using SLI Learning Recommendations, merchandising banners and customized landing pages, for example. In the next year, we expect to help more clients take advantage of additional channels using our learning technology.

What are you doing to improve your customers’ brand experience across multiple channels? What channels are most important to your business over the next several months? Please share your comments below.