Why ecommerce won’t kill brick-and-mortar stores, how retailers can use technology to maximize sales online and off, who (not who you may think) is shopping online, and more—welcome to the “omnichannel” edition of Retail Technology News, a weekly wrap-up from Quantum Retail of some of the top stories in the retail industry. Also, stories on retail sales trends and moms’ priorities for back-to-school shopping. Here’s what was news last week:
E-Commerce Is Not Eating Retail (Harvard Business Review)
Recent headlines suggesting the demise of physical stores at the hands of e-commerce are provocative, but misleading. To the contrary, omnichannel
retailers—those that seamlessly integrate the best
of both digital and physical worlds at each step of
the customer experience—are likely to enjoy significant advantages over retailers that try to
pursue either one alone or both independently.
Who shops online? The short answer is everyone. E-commerce has pervaded nearly every U.S. retail category. But digging into the data, there are surprising and important differences in behavior depending on gender, age (especially for Generation Z), income, and education. And some key findings run contrary to conventional wisdom.
Retail spending growth reaches 11-month high in July (Retail Customer Experience)
Retail spending growth was at an 11-month high in July. Overall retail spending growth was at its strongest levels in a year as nearly all retail categories turned in improved numbers, led by categories such as building materials, garden equipment, furniture and home furnishings. July’s dollar volume growth of 3.9 percent was robust, marking an improvement over June’s growth of 3.0 percent.
Retail technology: hi-tech high street fights for its future (The Telegraph)
In a world when you can be sitting on a beach and order products to be delivered to your home via your smartphone, the traditional store is no longer just about bricks and mortar. Developments in “omnichannel retailing,” including greater smartphone and tablet integration, are improving in-store shopping and shaping the future of retail.
More than three quarters of consumers have made a purchase online; even more have at least researched products online. Where once this would almost certainly have been on a desktop computer, the increasing popularity of smartphones and tablets makes mapping the online shopping journey more complex than ever. Tracking customer interactions across devices is essential to devising strategies.
It’s Official: Mobile Devices Rule Our Lives (PYMNTS.com)
Mobile is playing a growing role in commerce, both at the store and online. As marketers gain more sophistication in identifying how to capitalize on this trend, competition will become especially strong trying in capture the attention of omnichannel consumers via their smartphones and tablets.
Seniors: Kind of Digital Shoppers, Kind of Not (eMarketer)
While digital shopping and buying are not standard procedure for seniors to the degree that is true of younger generations, it’s not a rare occurrence for seniors to use digital resources in their purchase process. A surprising number of seniors are digital buyers. 36.7% of the US 65-and-older population will make a digital purchase this year—a market of 16.9 million people.
It is time to unite all customer data from all data sources, across all channels and devices, into a unified profile that the business and marketer owns as first-party to them. Having this unified customer profile with data at the individual level and the ability to own and use that data in real-time offers significant benefits to marketers and enables them to achieve true one-to-one marketing.
Why 92 percent of retail purchases still happen offline (iMedia Connection)
Though the eCommerce industry continues to see rapid growth, the overwhelming majority of U.S. retail sales (92 percent) still take place offline. The most common reason? Shoppers want to see or feel products in person. It should came as no surprise that the chief reason consumers don’t like virtual shopping is because you just can’t feel pixels.
No matter how you slice it, mobile consumers want to shop in stores and they’re looking for a deal. Even though they plan to buy in physical stores, most moms (60%) said they will use their smartphone while shopping and they’re looking for bargains and special offers. While in the store, moms are four times more likely to use their smartphone to look for coupons compared to other mobile activities.
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.