The future of retail is seamless – Omnichannel Commerce

Commerce

Retail is caught between lots of influencing factors and faces many challenges. Trends such as digitisation and disruptive transformation have turned the industry completely upside down.

For some time now, consumption has been moving away from just stationary retail. We can see numerous of changes in retail when we analyse the customer journey. The future of shopping will be more diverse and networked and will take place across different channels.

The boundaries between stationary retail (offline) and ecommerce (online) are becoming increasingly blurred. The customer is to be supported seamlessly across all channels. From product research and the purchasing procedure to service in the after-sales process. In terms of seamless commerce, the following question is at the fore: “What can I as retailer do in order to support the customer throughout the sales process and ensure that the customer buys from us? How can I make life simpler for the customer?”

 

 

A completely new kind of customer interaction – omnichannel commerce

The focus is on the relationship between the customer, his/her preferences and communication that is as dynamic as possible. Service-oriented companies use all the available channels in order to provide the consumer with information and also to answer questions. Whether this is by traditional stationary retail, or by digital channels independent of location, such as social media, apps, chats and bots, or by an individual combination of all the different channels. Whereas channels used to be narrow and selective, today, they are broad and diverse.

 

Online and offline

In the USA, Amazon has opened the bookshop amazon books and, as a traditional online trader, now also has a physical presence for the first time in its history. It uses online customer data and benefits from the knowledge gained from this data about bestsellers and favourites. So it only uses valuable, costly shelf space for articles that ensure “guaranteed sales”, so to speak. The supplier creates emotionally charged experiences relating to the product and attracts attention by means of large goods displays.

 

Locally and digitally

Zalando and Dachstein, the Austrian manufacturer of outdoor articles, also invest in the “physical, then digital” model, or the other way around. Online and offline are merging. Both now integrate stationary retail in their online business. Via its ZipCart fashion app, Zalando gives stationary shops the opportunity to offer its products online but to dispatch them via their urban branches. It’s a similar story with Dachstein. The customer orders the desired product in the online shop, however, it is dispatched from a participating dealer based in the surrounding area. So the customer benefits from the convenience of ordering from home but enjoys the benefits of personal, expert advice and can easily exchange the goods locally.

 

 

 

Personal online interaction

Whisbi offers a very special kind of shopping experience. As a user of the online shop, I can visit the physical shop virtually, from the comfort of my own home, via the web platform. The application enables the user to contact a local sales assistant, who guides the customer via Google Glass or the smartphone camera through the salesroom to products, and offers advice and help when placing an order. This also works in the service sector for banks and insurance companies (Allianz, AXA, citibank), in the travel industry when booking holidays, or when configuring a new car.

 

More soon about our retail trends with “Sales promotion 2.0 (speed retail)


One thought on “The future of retail is seamless – Omnichannel Commerce”

  1. Unicommerce

    Awesome post there, Angela!! The case studies sum up the article superbly..By all means omni-channel experience is going to be huge; both for the retailers and the consumers. At the same time, the retail operations need to gear up under this kind of environment where (once largely diverse) online and offline shopping are becoming one to offer brand’s omni-presence feel to the consumers. Bulk yet error-free order processing, convenient order fulfillment process, up-to-date stock availability and efficient returns handling are going to take center stage, as they define the customer experience with the brand.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*