Lauren Freedman

Results of the e-tailing group's 2014 Mystery Shopping Study, conducted during last year's fourth quarter, recognizes seven retailers out of the 100 benchmarked as excelling at online customer service. In today's omnichannel climate and amid heightened consumer expectations, customer service can serve as both an expected yet important differentiator. These retailers have invested in customer service excellence and we commend their performance. Service today means unprecedented access via every channel and every device where efficiency is an expectation and choice non-negotiable. 

" is nipping at the heels of every retailer," said Lauren Freedman, president, the e-tailing group, a Chicago-based consultancy, in the company's 13th annual Merchant Survey, which was released yesterday. "Mobile has materialized as a revenue-producing force and customer expectations have peaked, once again altering retailer investment strategies. Choice and prioritization are paramount in the context of this chaotic environment for survival and growth."

Compare Metrics, a provider of adaptive commerce navigation and discovery tools, and the e-tailing group, a consulting firm focused on omnichannel retail, announced results from a joint shopper navigation and discovery study. The study provides an explicit view of how consumers shop in-store and online, focusing on their likes and dislikes about each channel. The results from the study were showcased at an exclusive retailer-only event in New York City on Feb. 26, hosted by Compare Metrics and the e-tailing group.

Being multidimensional grows in importance as retailers must deliver across a rich range of devices and channels as consumer access grows, emphasizes Lauren Freedman, president of the e-tailing group. Now more than ever, elevating the customer experience is essential for differentiation and survival with a click away for every shopper and a threat to every retailer. Striving for excellence and delivering superior personalized shopping experiences means compelling merchandising and targeted marketing to meet and exceed the expectations of today's connected consumers.

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