While brick-and-mortar stores still remain the most popular place for consumers to shop, according to a new report from SmarterHQ (www.smarterhq.com), a multichannel behavioral marketing platform, the challenge for marketers is that consumers are on-the-go, moving from channel to channel, and they’re distracted as they do it.

And the increasing use of assistant home devices, led by Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Apple HomePod, has only added to the problem for marketers to create a connected consumer experience. In fact, 53% of survey respondents noted that their homes have more than three internet-accessible devices.

“Consumers view all the channels they shop on – online, in-store, through social media, or via assistant home devices – as a single point-of-contact with a brand, yet many retailers still treat these channels as disparate systems that aren’t connected,” said Michael Osborne, CEO of SmarterHQ. “This puts pressure on marketers to make the brand experience a consistent one no matter the channel. Without a marketing strategy that includes customer identity resolution, brands risk losing buyers to the more targeted and personalized campaigns of their competitors.”

Additional survey findings and what retail executives and marketers should keep in mind when strategizing the omnichannel experience include:

° Shopping online doesn’t mean purchasing online: A huge 90% of respondents prefer omnichannel fulfillment, pairing the convenience of shopping online with purchasing in-store.

° Shop online, return in-store: The majority of online shoppers (55%) prefer returning in-store to snail mail (45%) and as age increases, returning in-store decreases.

° Stay-at-home parents are prime targets for brick-and-mortars: 80% of stay-at-home parents who have the availability to shop prefer to shop in-store due to wanting to get out of the house.

° More kids equal more home assistants: Families with three or more children are 35% more likely to have home assistants, while those with less children opt for mobile sites and apps for quick purchases.

° Immediacy of shopping in-store is key: Among in-store shoppers, 80% prefer the physical shopping experience because they can walk away with the product that day.