The future of retail: eCommerce-driven Omnichannel

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Our CEO & Founder Luigi Matrone delivered a ‘Lunch and Learn’ for Reckitt Benckiser on why eCommerce-driven Omnichannel experiences are the future of retail. 

Why must brands and retailers focus on delivering exceptionally good eCommerce-driven Omnichannel experiences? 

Here are three key takeaways on this topic from a presentation our CEO & Founder Luigi Matrone delivered to global FMCG giant Reckitt Benckiser.


1. eCommerce-driven Omnichannel is becoming a necessity   

Multichannel experiences that operate separately from one another aren’t enough for consumers anymore. 

Today’s shoppers expect a unified experience across all channels. 

89 percent of customers prefer to be able to choose their sales channel when researching or buying products[1]. They want the flexibility to choose and combine multiple channels during their shopping journey. And shoppers who buy from a business both online and in-store have a 30 percent higher lifetime value than those that only buy through one channel[2]

So, how can brands and retailers combine the best elements of digital and physical to deliver brilliant, seamless shopping experiences that entice customers and keep them coming back for more?

The answer, as we move into ‘the New Normal’ and look to satisfy ever-growing consumer expectations, is through eCommerce-driven Omnichannel experiences. 

Omnichannel offers benefits and a seamless shopping experience that organisations with a multichannel approach just can’t compete with – Image source: Invesp

2. eCommerce is in the driving seat

The COVID-19 lockdown has accelerated the popularity of eCommerce. Online shopping rates continue to grow 129% week-on-week across Europe[3].

Consumers are seeing the benefits of shopping online, such as choice, convenience and the ability to shop anywhere, anytime.

The competition is intensifying, as evidenced by FAANG (Facebook, Amazon, Apple Netflix and Google) accelerating their respective eCommerce and social commerce strategies. Lubomira Rochet, Chief Digital Officer at L’Oreal, says: “We are setting ourselves up for a world where half of the business is eCommerce and 80 percent of consumer interactions will happen online.”

But eCommerce is now so much more than just buying on Amazon. Consumer expectations are growing all the time – and they have to be met.

Retail – even in physical stores – has been mobilised. Brands like Timberland are using digital ‘touchwall’ POS (point of sale) that interacts with a customer’s mobile device and online shopping behaviours to draw their attention to products or offers that they might be interested in while in-store[4]

Timberland makes personalised in-store recommendations based on the power of eCommerce data – the omnichannel in action – Image source: Shopify

In-store sales assistants – at Orvis, for example – are equipped with tablets that not only alert them when new customers enter a store but also tell them the shopper’s preferences based on previous online and physical shopping behaviours, thereby allowing an assistant to make personalised recommendations[5]

Young consumers in particular now demand these kinds of frictionless eCommerce-driven Omnichannel experiences, which can only be driven by data derived from online shopping behaviours and other rich sources of data

Brands are also under pressure to deliver integrated shopping experiences like social commerce that enable quick and easy in-app purchases based on another user’s recommendation.

And consumers expect to be enticed and entertained with exciting Product eContent  like livestreaming, augmented reality and other exciting interactive eCommerce-driven shopping trends.

These kinds of experiences are no longer ‘nice to haves’ but ‘must haves’ for any brand navigating their way in the new world of retail dominated by eCommerce-driven Omnichannel.

3. Put customers at the centre and break organisational silos 

Many brands and retailers only deliver sub-optimal Omnichannel experiences because they are limited by organisational silos, outdated technology and cultures that simply aren’t customer-centric enough. 

If you don’t put the customer at the heart of your retail strategy, you will fail in the eCommerce and omnichannel space. 

eRetailers need to define purchasing journeys, predict behaviours and meet consumers at the right touchpoints in order to drive sales and loyalty. 77 percent of consumers have chosen, recommended, or even paid more for a brand that provides a personalised shopping experience[6].

It’s vital that organisations develop a true understanding of who their customers are and how they behave through mapping and defining consumer journeys – Image source: eBusiness Institute

But brands can’t deliver these personalised services – either in-store or online – if they don’t know enough about them. Brands need to know what motivates their customers and target audiences to make purchases, such as ethical or environmental factors.

Brands and retailers often fail on these fronts because, although they may have introduced Big Data & AI into their organisations, they aren’t able to use these powerful tools to their full effect. This is due to a number of factors, not least teams lacking data capabilities and departments failing to communicate with one another properly. 

And sometimes organisations need to look outside their own four walls to find partners that can help them create the best possible experiences for consumers. 

For instance, a start-up partner is more likely to have the agility to help your organisation experiment with and test new approaches to eCommerce-driven Omnichannel that could give you an edge in your market. 

In conclusion – final recommendations

  1. Truly understand your consumers by continually mapping customer journeys and analysing consumer behaviours. These activities will help you smoothly navigate the world of eCommerce-driven Omnichannel.
  2. Expand your notion of eCommerce. See it as an opportunity to drive sales across multiple channels in a co-ordinated and multifunctional way.
  3. Create partnerships. Re-think the borders of competition and ask yourself: “Who could help me build better consumer experiences for my audience?”.

eBusiness Institute can help organisations solve the issues outlined in these recommendations. If you would like to arrange a similar session to this one for your organisation, please get in touch.

This article was written and created by the eBusiness Institute team.

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The real winners in the new retailer landscape will be those that adapt best to the omnichannel and adopt strategies that allow them to keep step with consumers along their purchasing journeys.

Please contact us to find out how we can help you develop strategies, build your teams’ capabilities and deliver the activations you need to master the omnichannel.









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