The COVID-19 pandemic had certainly created a major impact on eCommerce with global sales hitting nearly USD 5 trillion in 2020. However, now that the situation has eased and restrictions have been lifted, growth has understandably slowed down.
Several factors are contributing to the stabilization of eCommerce growth. One, is that people are starting to feel more comfortable going back to stores. Another factor is that the economy is starting to recover, and people have more money to spend on non-essential items.
Understanding the Omni-Channel Landscape
With brick-and-mortar stores not going away, retailers are finding ways to combine online and offline sales to create a more seamless shopping experience for their customers. For example, some retailers are offering curbside pickup and delivery, while others are creating "click-and-collect" stores where customers can order online and pick up their items in-store.
Omni-channel can be defined as a customer experience approach to doing sales; combining multiple channels to provide the customer with a seamless experience. You are meeting the customer at each different touchpoint and providing value along each step.
Ask yourself: if the customer is browsing your catalog through social media and hops onto your website next, are you aware of it? Are you offering a bridge between these channels?
What about when the customer visits your physical store? How can you help the customer journey if they have already been browsing online for their favorite product and are looking to find it in the brick-and-mortar store? This is what the best brands are doing with the omnichannel approach.
Most consumers now use at least three channels for each purchase journey. As McKinsey stated, while 75 percent of consumers want a seamless omni-channel experience, only 25 percent are satisfied with the experience that retailers provide.
Navigating the Future
The emerging trends and innovations in omni-channel retail focus on the importance of agility and adaptability. An optimized omni-channel strategy increases customer loyalty. According to a recent survey from PwC, even if shoppers love a brand, 59 percent will leave after several bad experiences and 17 percent will leave after just one.
With the right omni-channel approach, retailers can boost customer satisfaction in a variety of ways, such as by providing loyalty rewards that can be redeemed online or in-store. Consumers move fluidly across channels to fulfill their needs, meaning growth will come from a balance of both online and offline sales strategies.
Consumers have a heightened omni-channel familiarity thanks to the conditions of pandemic lockdowns and limited store access. As they build on that familiarity, while re-introducing physical store interaction, we will see a blurring of shopping habits across channels and a renewed interest in eCommerce, particularly as a strategy to save money.
Leveraging an omni-channel strategy will help increase your consumer reach and sales of both online and offline channels. Reach out to us at DKSH Consumer Goods to learn more about our expertise and relationships with e-retailers, online marketplaces, and physical sales channels in the markets you are operating.