A new study has found achieving full omnichannel transformation takes longer and is more complex than retailers first thought.

Retailers have underestimated how hard is it to fully transition to omnichannel, according to a new report that shows an uplift in those claiming they are still on a transformation journey.

Released today, the new report from supply chain consultancy LCP Consulting reveals twice as many retailers compared with this time last year maintain they are still in the process of transforming to become fully omnichannel businesses. In 2014, 19% of retailers said they were in transition, versus 38% in 2015 – demonstrating the realisation that the omnichannel journey will take longer than anticipated.

Backing up these findings, the report also revealed 31% of retailers in 2015 claim they have fully moved to omnichannel, compared with 54% 12 months ago.

Omnichannel retailers who have a fully integrated front and back end and an integrated organisational structure are twice as likely to deliver double-digit growth, the report found.

The Omnichannel Journey report said: “A year on from our last study, it’s clear achieving omnichannel transformation is a lot harder than most retailers first thought. 

“It’s not enough to have a compelling front-end sales proposition, they must also have back-end operations capable of delivering on their promises. One thing is certain however – without change, retailers are placing themselves in an uncertain future position.”

LCP interviewed more than 100 leading retailers in the UK and the US for the report, in addition to a number of senior retail executives from leading European retailers.

It also found a 10% uplift in the number of retailers labelled as ‘omnichannel followers’, from 27% in 2014 to 37% in 2015. Omnichannel followers are recent converts to omnichannel who have partial or no integration between their front- and back-end systems. These retailers are increasingly recognising the need to develop an effective operational the back end in order to deliver on their customer promises and meet an increased appetite for business data and analytics versus front-end consumer insight.

LCP partner Phil Streatfield said: “Customers expect an omnichannel experience. This is driving more retailers down this path. We are seeing this reflected in the shift to omnichannel follower status and the reduction in pure-play and optimised multichannel players.”

For further findings on the The Omnichannel Journey and to read the full report, click here.

Retailer Think Tank: Gaining the omnichannel advantage

Join Retail Week and our partner LCP Consulting at a networking Think Tank breakfast on February 23 at The Groucho, London to explore ways to adjust to the demands of digital commerce and the empowered customer by making the transition to omnichannel.

To register your interest, please email rosie.birchenough@emap.com