Despite the importance of a joined up multichannel strategy, fewer than half of the UK’s top 50 retailers currently offer a click and collect service.

A survey by IVIS Group found that a quarter of the companies that do offer click and collect don’t extend the service to mobile customers.

Homebase’s head of multichannel Andy McWilliams recently flagged up the company’s reserve and collect tool as key to its online strategy.

McWilliams said this was essential for destination stores, as consumers expect to know if their chosen product is in stock otherwise they will look for a more convenient place to shop.

Even if you think you’re a multichannel retailer, online and offline often act almost independently. You get different offers online vs. offline. They have to be the same, and communication has to be the same.

However many UK retailers are failing to implement an effective multichannel strategy. The report found that more that half of the retailers fail to display in-store promotions online.

Some retailers run their in-store and online operations separately. Individual targets for each channel mean the two are competitors, and this is not good for the customer or the retailer.

It suggests that true multichannel retailers should aim to achieve their revenue targets through all channels combined.

Going mobile

More than a third of the businesses included in IVIS Group’s study don’t have a mobile optimised site, while around half have a mobile app.

Among those that do have a mobile site, half don’t allow customers to check in-store stock availability before going shopping.

In a recent interview with us, Google’s head of retail Rick Jones said that mobile is integral to an effective multichannel strategy.

We are not there yet, but if we can understand someone’s behaviour across different devices on their route to a purchase, whether that’s offline or online, then that’s clearly a very powerful insight.

IVIS Group’s study analysed the top 50 retailers, by turnover across five categories – grocery, department stores, clothing, general merchandise and home improvement.

Econsultancy’s JUMP conference focuses on how businesses can implement an effective multichannel strategy. Click here to register for this year’s event.