Retailing sector has evolved from brick and motor to Omni channel retailing. People can purchase anything anytime anyhow and anywhere. Omni channel retailing gives both digital and physical experiences. It includes both online and offline channels with abundance of information, price transparency and special deals. This strategy had turned into entertainment, exciting and emotional engaging experience for shoppers and made a prop up in revenue. Digital retailing will never show any discrete in its growth as the consumer’s behaviour is always to expect more from the current satisfaction. There is a vast selection of products with remarkable prices and reviews of people which can be made avail at any place. Traditional retailers are still lagging.
The few reasons which holds them back are computer illiteracy, their fear of entering e commerce due to the hype during dot-com bubble and their focus on return on invested capital and growth rather than margins. Omni channel retail is a main crisis for traditional retail as consumers are more comfortable and sales associate with merchandise knowledge are hard to find. To overcome this they need to adapt an Omni channel strategy and get along with the pace.
They need to find the digital density of the categories they are planning to prepare for with a start over mentality. Omni channel retail provides the advantage of both digital and physical stores like broad selection and personal service respectively. To maintain such innovative organization imaginative and tech savvy employers are needed. One of the best retailer with Omni channel strategy from US, Macy’s launched recruiting microsite with enviable location and unique supply of entrepreneurial ingenuity and business acumen. All these can be implemented only if there is a disruptive innovation team in the organization with individuals having different knowledge bases ad willingness to take bold risk and changes.
Furthermore the information, choice and convenience increased competition. A study was commissioned by eBay on the impacts of Omni channel retiling in Deloitte UK. Omni channel strategy is of much useful to retailers as well, 25% of online purchasers in UK and Germany purchased products that can’t be easily available locally and these retailers can easily get hold of market segments as consumers look out for more channels to buy high valued products thus increase brand awareness and loyalty which in turn can increase the sales and revenue of not only online but even offline stores. Omni channel strategy has helped retailers to increase their cross border sales which increased their revenue.
UK and Germany generated 8 billion dollars in the year 2012 in online retail exports. The retailers could enhance their competition position only if the adopt this strategy. A retailer can take up Omni channel retailing with a stepwise process where first they need to understand the future customer’s behaviour and make it flexible for them to use the various channels and make sure to be present in those channels. Next they need to take a holistic approach where in all the operations must be ready to adopt and adjust with the Omni channel retailing.
Then they need to redefine the stores make most of their offline stores a part of the Omni channel strategy and integrate the channels. A revaluation of delivery network and partner ship and enabling cross border along with the most important to monitor the new technologies consumer adopts. Consumers are always adapting to more convenient opportunities they come across, over 30% of UK and Germany consumers go through different channels to get more information before they purchase online. Social media and mobile apps are more prevalent in shopping now a days where 34% of consumers use before shopping. About 34% consumers use smart phone to retrieve information of the product. This Omni channel purchase journey is as follows – Creating awareness about the brand and the products, do research on additional information about the product , purchase them, get it in the store or get them deliver directly and providing feedback. One of the main reason to do an online shopping is its unavailability in the stores. This strategy has helped to increase the frequent high spend consumers where in they research a lot about the product via different channels.
To sustain in market and enable incremental sales they need both store and non store presence. An econometric model helps to analysis the relationship between store and non store sales and it examine the impact of variable such as web awareness, advertising. An analysis was done on UK fashion market where the sample size was 17 retailers. It shows that Omni channel could increase the offline stores sales with the help of online stores. In 2013 they could attain 1.7 billion dollars through non store channels .In Germany domestic appliances sales has increased by about 28% since 2009. Different channels are used for online shopping; French consumers use internet and Spanish consumers use the online research before shopping online.
Omni channel retailers gain customers world wide exposing to new customer behaviour interest and increase the sales and growth. Two examples of cross border Omni channel retailing are Top shop has 39 offline stores in different countries with Omni channel they could cover 122 countries and MAPCO use eBay sales data to inform their cross border strategy . They need to be provide more customer centred experience where they engage with the brand and they get access to all channels.
They could be made more convenient using social media. The key differentiators for the retailers in the future are its agility and flexibility. Omni channel strategy is build and designed not only to manage channels but also to integrate those channels. This strategy can lead to more competition than before as the price is transparent, more choices , cross borders, availability etc comes into action. Omni channel retailing is more of benefits than challenges better customer experience, increased sales and advertising.
Analysing the data and information provided by channels and get to understand the demand of the customer or change in behaviour is one of the benefit from Omni channel retailing. This strategy is the best till date where the customer can get both digital and physical experience and the retailer too benefits .