According to RetailingToday, Integrated Retail or Omnichannel Commerce paid off for ‘Finish Line’ who attributed their strong quarter performance to their strategies in Omnichannel Commerce. In addition, NRF’s shop.org survey indicates that 37% of Black Friday shoppers preferred to shop both online and in store.
As retailers worldwide adopt the integration of online and offline, they are rewarded by customer preferences that clearly trend towards a multi-channel approach.
Of late the latest and widely adopted trends in Integrated Retail have been Omnichannel commerce integrating both store and online for pick up & purchase, flexible payment mechanisms, brand specific programs, store loyalty cards and of course mobile checkouts.
These have been great for customer experience. However, what will fuel the next wave of innovation?
Indeed, if we consider the maturity of Omnichannel commerce, consumers are looking for a more contextual experience. In fact, all the frenzy over social & mobile, combined with intense competition for consumer attention is actually making it more difficult to get through to the consumer. Techniques that worked in the past no longer do. In addition, for the consumer, research and comparison shopping are faster than before, even instantaneous through the omnipresent smartphones.
The next wave of innovation appears to be a problem that must be tackled on two fronts:
Consumer preferences haven’t changed. Consumers are just adapting to the new mediums of interaction, and enjoying the flexibility that the increased competition is providing them. In a rapidly evolving industry, there will always be innovators and followers. What’s crucial is to begin thinking about the ecosystem we want to build with our customers.