Best Practices for Omnichannel Retailing

June 2018

The global retail landscape is changing rapidly with the rise of omnichannel retailing. This report looks at the platforms on which retailers need to provide a seamless retailing experience. It highlights best practices and case studies from around the world.

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Retailers must continue to invest in various platforms to achieve omnichannel proficiency

Key platforms on which retailers must be present to achieve omnichannel proficiency include physical stores, web, mobile and other emerging platforms. Retailers must be aware of these platforms and continue to invest in them, as they are the channels through which shoppers seek to access their brands.The ultimate aim is to provide seamless shopping experiences at any time, anywhere, through any platform; therefore, retailers will need to provide consistency through all channels.

Achieving omnichannel proficiency yields benefits to both shoppers and retailers

Omnichannel is increasingly becoming the way in which retail customers want to shop. Current customer expectations are that retailers and brands are accessible through all devices at their convenience, and offering this shopping experience is therefore no longer optional for retailers to remain relevant. From retailers’ perspective, being omnichannel yields increased sales opportunities.

Priorities to achieve omnichannel proficiency include offering consistency across all channels, proper inventory management and various fulfilment options

Retailers must offer a consistent shopping experience across all channels,including consistency in terms of prices and services. The price of a product should not vary significantly depending on where the shopper chooses to shop, and the service types offered by a retailer should be integrated across all of its channels. Furthermore, shoppers should have access to view all of a given retailer’s available inventory across all platforms, and be able to choose from various fulfilment options, such as delivery and click and collect.

Introduction

Scope
Key findings: omnichannel is the future
Key findings: omnichannel has its challenges
What is omnichannel retailing?
Being omnichannel yields increased opportunities for retailers

Omnichannel Platforms

Platforms for omnichannel retailing
Retailers can leverage physical stores to transact and fulfil
Physical stores play a key role in building retailers’ brands
Online channels offer benefits not offered by physical stores
Mobile commerce is projected to grow quickly in the near term
Mobile may be the key to unlocking omnichannel proficiency
Voice commerce via smart assistants
Smart appliances further facilitate frictionless shopping
Wearables continue to integrate payment capabilities
Alibaba leads in developing connected cars
Case study: Amazon
Amazon offers Dash devices to facilitate frictionless shopping
Amazon Echo leads voice-controlled commerce
Amazon DRS enables others to offer IoT commerce
Amazon integrates Alexa into passenger vehicles

Priorities for Omnichannel

Prioritise pricing, service and transparency
Customer expectations for fulfilment are higher than ever before

Challenges of Becoming Omnichannel

Retailers must rethink how to track sales and plan inventory
Retailers must overcome internal, fulfilment and payment barriers
Retailers must rethink their bricks-and-mortar strategies

State of Omnichannel by Region

Alibaba pursues the strategy of “New Retail”
Alibaba adds omnichannel features to RT Mart
JD.com embraces “Boundaryless Retail”
JD.com launches its own omnichannel stores
Walmart launches its omnichannel prototype in Mexico
OXXO solves the payment problem for digital retailers
Zara reinvents its store in London
IKEA shrinks its stores, relying on omnichannel
Nordstrom is a leader in omnichannel retailing in the US
Home Depot focuses on stores as fulfilment centres
Walmart.com’s redesign emphasises stores

Recommendations

Focus on shifting organisational mindset and prioritise essentials
Invest in necessary platforms and be mindful of regional differences
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