While articles and blog posts about omnichannel retailing are nothing new, omnichannel has seemed omnipresent in online media recently. As noted here recently in The Omni-Challenged Supply Chain, while “Consumers have had no problem adapting to an omnichannel experience, and a majority of them already use multiple channels when shopping,” even in the best cases, many retailers remain “omni-challenged.”
The eight pieces below from just the past week reflect that reality. Though 90% of shoppers expect consistent brand experiences across channels (Reuters), just 5% of retailers have fully executed an omnichannel strategy (FierceRetailIT). And while omnichannel behavior varies considerably over time and across product categories (MediaPost), omnichannel customer engagement drives profitability (RIS News).
Here’s what was news in omnichannel retailing over the past week.
Revising The Supply Chain For An Omnichannel Era (Retail TouchPoints)
Tactics like ship-to-home and return-to-store; order online and pickup in-store; and even providing anytime, anywhere access to inventory availability
all are on the upswing, according to Aberdeen Group research. More than 61% of retailers have now implemented these fulfillment streams as part of
their offerings, up from approximately 50% in 2013.
Comment: Social media is key to a multichannel strategy (Essential Retail)
Social media is a crucial means for both retailers
and suppliers to build a presence, own the conversation and engage with shoppers. As increasing amounts of marketing budget are being spent on digital channels, communication from brands is becoming more sophisticated.
The fashion industry is moving at its fastest ever pace, driven by the emergence and convergence of consumer technologies. Our infographic shows fashion retailers how to turn these challenges into opportunities, by reorganising business processes for the new customer-driven retail industry.
Ninety percent of consumers said they expect the customer experience to be consistent across channels and devices used to interact with brands this holiday shopping season, according to a new global study. This is a growing expectation from shoppers, representing a 17 percent increase from what consumers reported last year.
Omni-Channel Behaviors May Ebb And Flow (MediaPost)
Omni-channel activity is still quite fluid. While most product categories continue to see increased omni-channel habits (shoppers consulting live and online channels to make decisions) the most established ones actually saw slight declines. While 65% of shoppers for consumer electronics reported omni-channel behavior, that was actually down five point since last year. Apparel was down three points.
Only 5% of retail has fully executed omnichannel strategy (FierceRetailIT)
In spite of rising consumer expectations, just 5 percent of retailers believe they have advanced omnichannel capabilities, according to a new report. 75 percent of retailers report experiencing increased demand for more rapid fulfillment and 44 percent of suppliers report greater demand for more robust item information. But between 35 and 40 percent believe they’re lagging in these areas of expertise.
The world is ready for omnichannel: 50 percent of consumers expect the ability to buy online and pick-up in store, and nearly three-quarters note they are likely or very likely to use a local store if the retailer makes inventory information available online. So the people are ready and merchants stand to gain, but the omnicommerce experience so far just isn’t delivering.
Many retailers are leveraging customer data and analytics to achieve better execute on providing customers a positive experience in the channel that they’re shopping in. But with such a variety of solutions being offered, the struggle lies in dealing with current legacy systems – the need to break down siloes and integrate marketing across platforms from commerce to fulfillment, marketing communications to customer service.
Making Omnichannel Inventory Optimization Profitable (white paper)
What’s always been true of inventory management – that it can make or break a retailer’s business model — is still true today, only the stakes are higher in the instant-gratification world of omnichannel retailing. This report explains how to create a 360-degree inventory optimization game plan built on a foundation of real-time accuracy and visibility, and use inventory management as a competitive weapon.