In June 2011, Demandware commissioned a Forrester report exploring how the modern consumer is evolving and how ready European and North American retailers are to engage with them. The report found that with the advent of mobile technology consumers are accessing brands from multiple touch points; no longer just in-store or via the call centre but also via social media and online. This has had far reaching implications for both the consumer and retailer. One of the key findings of the report showed that one single bad experience for the consumer in one channel has a much wider reach than previously, as not only is the consumer response immediate, but it is also massively amplified by social media and mobile technology across all channels. This as you can imagine has huge implications for the retailer and in response the retailer needs to have visibility across all channels to act quickly.

According to the findings, even though retailers are more prepared than expected, they don't have this visibility; the holy grail of the single customer view. The report explains, "barriers include everything from business models, technology, corporate incentives, and metrics to company culture and service policies." It comments that retailers need to avoid channel conflict by offering cross channel incentives and whilst retailers are investing heavily in multi-channel, they are not effectively integrating online, stores and mobile.

As a result, the report has found that not only are retailers not taking advantage of the huge potential in multi-channel, but they are also not meeting consumers mobile expectations. It suggests that retailers need to invest in an effective, agile multi-channel proposition to engage the modern consumer; retailers must move from channel-centric to consumer-centric commerce. "Businesses that ignore this evolution will be negatively impacted as they move forward'.

You can read the report in full here.