An interesting study into the retail Omnichannel was just published in the US. Naturally the research focuses on US retailers, but the results are interesting because the urgency for change is applicable in any developed market.
The new study was undertaken by Retail Info Systems News and asked retail executives to rank their peers – so it was industry insiders voting on each other rather than just members of the general public.
The leading brands are all well-known US retailers. First place was tied, with 45.8% both going to Nordstrom and Apple. Macy’s got 37.5% percent of the vote, with Walmart close behind on 33.3%. Target and Best Buy both scored 20.8%.
Regardless of the actual brand names, what is recognised here is that these companies are developing a seamless shopping experience across multiple channels by integrating their service, sales, and support all into a single process.
Other important considerations emerging from the research include:
- Brands believe that by not using an omnichannel strategy they are missing out on at least 6.5% of additional revenue. For big retailers, this means billions just lost.
- 65.4% of retailers in this study said that their focus is moving to a single transaction platform uniting POS, e-commerce, and m-commerce.
- There is no omnichannel transaction platform on the market – most retailers have to build and connect various platforms together.
- E-commerce, rather than POS, has become the primary transaction platform of choice – retailers are preferring online sales as they are more integrated into other aspects of the process, such as customer service.
- Price-matching is becoming a significant trend.
- 23.1% of retailers in this study are in the process of implementing geolocation technology in and around their stores – they want to reach out to known fans.
- 50% of retailers are considering how to make better use of social check-ins. Customers are telling their friends that they are in-store, but retailers still can’t figure out the best way to use this information.
Despite the US brand focus in this study, the outcome is interesting. Customers are going to see a difference in the way products are marketed, discounts are offered, support is offered – the entire process of shopping is changing because of the omnichannel.
Naturally, customer service needs to keep track of all these changes. Where do you think the most significant change in the requirement to serve these digital customers will be first?
Photo by Tom Bridge licensed under Creative Commons