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Omnichannel strategy: Stakes and Challenges

Guide and advises

Wednesday 27 October 2021 
Elsa Benaiche Elsa Benaiche
3 minutes
Omnichannel strategy: Stakes and Challenges

Consumers using several shopping channels are extremely valuable to businesses.

They spend more (+4%1 in stores and +10%1 on line) and are more likely to recommend a brand to their acquaintances. They also tend to be more regular in their shopping with those using more than 10 shopping channels (48%2) buying from their preferred eCommerce site once a week or more.

To attract them to your brands, you need to provide a true omnichannel journey and respond to their needs at every stage of this journey.

Discover what's at stake in an omnichannel strategy and the challenges involved in its implementation.

The stakes involved in an omnichannel strategy

Development of new shopping methods

Since the start of the Covid-19 crisis, shoppers have been testing new shopping methods and 73% of them3 want to continue using these alternatives. It is essential to give them the possibility to choose the shopping method that suits them best: speed, simplicity, practicality…

curbside pickup

For example, « Curbside pickup4 » boomed during the health crisis. It allows shoppers to order online and then pick up their shopping by car. Once they've arrived at their destination, they inform the shop (phone call, email, text…) and an employee comes to the car to hand over their order.

This shopping method is highly appreciated by shoppers for its practicality, and this naturally increases customer satisfaction5.

The need to create new synergies

When switching from one channel to another, 75% of shoppers6 now expect to find a uniform experience making it essential to create links between your physical and digital channels.

For example, Timberland7 have created a link between their New York store and their eCommerce website. When shoppers arrive in the store, they can scan a product label and access the information available on the brand's website: marketing descriptions, photos, technical features… This « phygital » strategy gives shoppers access to additional information about a product they are researching and helps them to make an informed purchasing decision.

The need for a consistent product experience

Shoppers are using increasingly complicated routes to make purchases with 79% of shoppers8 researching online even when in the store. Among the key data searched for: product information (61%9), reviews (49%9), product options (35%9), availability (16%9)…

consistent product experience

Often when they search online they find inconsistencies between the different selling channels and this disrupts the shopping journey: 29% of brands10 do not display the same prices in stores and on their eCommerce sites. For a majority of shoppers (54%11 in the USA and 55%11 in the UK for example), this price difference is disconcerting and considered as unacceptable.

To avoid these mistakes, you need to be able to manage product information efficiently in the company: centralization, collaborative data enrichment, proofreading… You also need to implement a data validation process to ensure that the information sent to each shopping channel is consistent: product offer, bargains, loyalty programs...

The importance of the in-store experience

Shoppers are hyper connected and are using an increasing number of digital channels to interact with their preferred brands with 63% of shopping opportunities12 beginning online. Despite this boom in the use of digital, physical stores continue to be a valuable sales channel.

To remain competitive, a business must innovate to optimize their instore experience. For example, ZARA7 has made interactive mirrors available so that shoppers can see what clothes might look like on them to save time with trying on. The fun element of this experience is winning over customers and giving the image of an up-to-the-minute company.

The instore experience also needs to be different from other shopping channels. For example at « Amazon 4-star10 », the product offer is different to the online offer and provides real added value in the shopping journey: this physical store carries all of the products noted 4 stars on the online store.

Omnichannel strategy and in-company challenges

Phygital strategies, new shopping methods, instore innovations… The implementation of an omnichannel strategy has become a necessity for the success of a business with 90% of companies13 having implemented an omnichannel strategy and/or having short term plans to invest in one.

Despite these figures, only 8% of companies13 feel as though they are in full control of their omnichannel strategy. Among their main challenges11 are non-collaborative working systems and insufficient data quality.

Many companies also feel that they are not using the right resources to implement their omnichannel strategy with 45% of businesses13 saying that they do not have the right technology and/or feeling they need to access additional software platforms.


1 Sopadjieva, E. S., M. Dholakia, U. M. D., & Benjamin, B. B. (2017, January 3). A Study of 46,000 Shoppers Shows That Omnichannel Retailing Works. hbr.org.
2 Orendorff, A. O. (2018, January 9). Omni-Channel Retail Strategy : The What, Why, and How of “In-Store” Shopping. shopify.com.
3 Charm, T. C. B., Coggins, B. C., Robinson, K. B., & Wil, J. W. (2020, August 4). The great consumer shift : Ten charts that show how US shopping behavior is changing. mckinsey.com.
4 Damen, A. D. (2021, August 2). Phygital Retail : What is It and What are the Benefits ? (+6 Real-Life Examples). shopify.com.
5 Damen, A. D. (2021, May 13). The Ultimate Guide to Curbside Pickup (With Examples of Local Retailers Doing it Right). shopify.com.
6 Lefèvre, F. L. (2021, April 23). Comment optimiser le potentiel du mobile dans sa stratégie omnicanal ? kaliop.com.
7 Daumas, I. D. (2021, March 4). Phygital : le guide pour réussir sa stratégie. blog.hubspot.
8 Démineur, E. D. (2019, March 13). Réussir sa stratégie omnicanale avec la personnalisation. kameleoon.com.
9 KPMG. (2017, Janurary). The truth about online consumers. assets.kpmg.
10 Sia Partners. (2019, February 26). La place du magasin dans l'univers omnicanal du retail. sia-partners.com.
11 McKinsey. Omnichannel Compendium for Retailers. mckinsey.com
12 Mohsin, M. M. (2021, June 20). 10 Online shopping statistics you need to Know in 2021. oberlo.com.
13 Study : 87% of Retailers Agree Omnichannel is Critical to their Business, Yet Only 8% Have « Mastered » it. (2017, December 13). prnewswire.com.

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