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Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2007 at 11:06 am

Lines Between Online and Offline Retail Continue to Blur

By Robert Gorell
August 29th, 2007

Sterling Commerce surveyed US adults this summer and found that — surprise-surprise — customers like to buy on their own terms, regardless of channel. eMarketer has the story:

Sterling found that 55% of consumers thought it was important to be able to complete orders in a store, on the store’s Web site or through a call center, regardless of which channel was used to initially place the order. Nearly two-thirds of consumers also expected to be able to cancel or modify orders through any channel.

Naturally, the stakes are high:

“As retailers ramp up for the biggest shopping event of the year—the holidays—their readiness to address today’s cross-channel customers’ expectations could decide their success,” said Jim Bengier, a global retail industry executive at Sterling Commerce, in a statement. “The cross-channel experience has created today’s ‘spoiled consumer,’ and it raises the bar for every retailer.”

So, customers are like finicky cats who want things on their own terms and don’t care if you’re on the computer or in the living room? Wouldn’t it be great if there were a bestselling book that could have predicted this last year, with nuanced advice on how to market across channels;)

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