Moving from multi-channel to omnichannel retailing

In today’s digital world, it is not uncommon for retailers to trade through multiple channels.

It’s almost become a mandatory accessory to have an online store associated to your physical store but at what point can you consider your retail business to be operating through multi-channels or an omnichannel business.

The answer is simple. If your business sells through multiple channels that operate independently of each other then you are considered to be operating through multi-channels.

If you sell through multiple channels that are integrated, then you are considered to be an omnichannel business.

It may seem like I am playing with words but when you think about it the benefits lay in integrating your business.

In the latest CitiXsys research study into the habits of Australian and New Zealand shoppers, it became very clear that customers are seeing retail business as one even if they buy through multiple channels.

84% of Australian shoppers and 85% of New Zealanders shopped both in-store and online. Though these figures may not be surprising it was more interesting to see that 56% of Australians and 61% of New Zealanders don’t think about their shopping habits. They choose the option that is most convenient to them at a particular time.

What is important about these statistics is that the majority of shoppers are viewing retailer’s business as one, no matter whether they transact online or in-store.

This insight provides the encouragement to retailers to consider moving to an omnichannel model.

56% of Aussies and 59% of Kiwis like to shop from the same retailer via multiple channels with 52% and 47% respectively finding online purchases more convenient than in-store.

As shoppers are mingling online and in-store purchases, merging the two channels through the use of integrated technology opens the door to meet and exceed customer expectations.

As an example, the ability to buy online and pickup instore or buy online and return in-store is a reality that can only be realised through seamless integration between sales channels.

An omnichannel retailer can meet and respond to customer expectations providing them with the opportunity to stand out from the crowd.

Ask yourself, are you operating in multi-channels or omnichannel and which one do you think will be more beneficial for you in the long term?

Senior Vice President of Sales for Asia Pacific and the Americas, for CitiXsys, Paula Da Silva has more than 10 years’ experience in the retail industry associated with delivering innovative software solutions to mid and large sized retailers. Known for her strong track record of operational excellence and managing a global ecosystem of technology partners, Paula has been instrumental in building the iVend Retail into a global market leader in the retail industry and plays a major role in the Company’s overall performance.

Paula Da Silva