There is no denying that online shopping has really transformed retail and many household shopping habits. The biggest advantage of online shopping is clearly convenience.
Convenience has been a strong driver of retail ever since the concept of trading was established but it is a variable concept. For example, if you don’t own a computer or have internet access, then online shopping is not convenient. What if you don’t have easy transport to your local shopping centre?
Even though the concept of omnichannel retailing is unaware to shoppers, they are in fact the driver of this new era of retail. It is their expectations of a seamless shopping experience that underpins the concept of omnichannel retailing.
When you boil it down, omnichannel retailing means you need to try and be everything and everywhere for your customers. It sounds tricky to achieve but closing the convenience gap between online and instore is as simple as having the right retail solution in place.
Over the past year I have written about all the different expectations that shoppers now have of retailers such as integrating online store practices to instore, having great visibility of customer interactions across all sales channels as well as merging online and instore practices with initiatives such as click and collect and return or exchange of online purchases instore. Many believe our challenge is in the digital space but I believe it is more in the instore space to try and meet the expectations of the modern shopper.
I call this the Digital Disconnect. That gap between digital and instore practices. That gap that represents missed opportunity through a lack of convenience for shoppers. Technology is, once again, the solution to closing this gap to meet the expectations of the modern shopper.
This topic is close to my heart and one that I will be discussing in more detail via a joint webinar with the National Online Retail Association on the 17 August, 9.30am – 10.30am.
A seamless shopping experience that merges the convenience benefits of both online and instore retail is the goal and when met your retail store has no choice but to prosper.