“An Investigation on Customer Experience within an Omni-Channel Environment”
Aim: The aim of this research is to investigate consumer expectations and perspectives when it comes to digital (internet) and physical (high street) channels in retail. A focus on the omni-channel environment is also investigated and whether the perceptions of consumers influence the growth of the omni-channel concept. Design and Methodology: The research uses an exploratory approach using a mixed methods paradigm utilising a combination of online questionnaires and one focus group as a means of collecting the appropriate data. A nonprobability sample of 42 respondents was used the questionnaire and 6 focus group participants. The collected data was then analysed to come to conclusions whether the objectives of the study were met. Findings: The results from the data analysis suggested that consumers are not yet fully engaged with the concept of omni-channel but more towards a cross-channel environment. Key themes were identified and established after analysis but it concluded that consumers still desire some traditional methods over the advanced methods in certain parts of their shopping journey. The findings also identified the level of engagement consumers have towards shopping features that could in future influence the growth of the omni-channel environment by exploiting this to a retailers competitive advantage. Research Limitations: There are limitations identified in the data collection process, where social desirability throughout the questionnaire and focus group may have influenced certain answers from respondents. Also, despite there being a wide literature on customer experience, the literature on omni-channel was limited in the research as it is still an emerging concept.