What omnichannel retail looks like in peak season 2021
Every retailer claims to be omnichannel in 2021. But what does that actually look like in practice? As the peak season approaches, we're asking what consumers expect from omnichannel shopping.
Let’s take a look at how consumer habits have changed this year, ushering in a new era where every single purchase is omnichannel.
How consumer habits have changed in 2021Most changes in consumer habits this year were driven by the pandemic. While we all stayed home, we turned to online shopping to get groceries, furnish home offices, and invest in cosy clothing.
But there were other, less obvious, changes happening too. Consumers started to make decisions differently. We’ve uncovered some interesting shifts in motivation:
- 90% of customers want an instant response to customer service queries.
- 91% want less packaging, or more sustainable packaging, for their online orders.
- 91% expect to pick up where they left off, when changing shopping channels (for example, moving from a mobile app to a desktop website).
- Omnichannel marketing campaigns got 90% more customer retention and 250% more conversions.
What does this tell us about peak season?
All these statistics point to a wider trend: customers want a personal experience when they shop online. Consumers want brands to speak to them personally. They want a shopping experience designed around them, that matches their sustainability preferences. Interestingly, simply adding personalisation to e-commerce marketing can increase sales by almost 20%.
This goes against earlier predictions for e-commerce. In the past, retailers expected their customers to make decisions based on cost, delivery speed, and convenience. And those things still matter; but good communication matters more. So, how are brands responding to that demand?
Why omnichannel retail will dominate the peak seasonOmnichannel is the only approach which fulfils all those new demands from customers at the same time: fast communication, sustainable delivery options, and personalization everywhere.Let’s take a closer look at why omnichannel will dominate peak season retail this year.
- Selling everywhere. From branded websites to mobile apps, social shopping, online marketplaces and Google Shopping, customers are spoilt for choice this peak season.
- Delivering everywhere. Some of the most innovative retailers have been legacy brands with physical stores. They have the power to offer a vast range of delivery options: home delivery, collect in-store, curbside pick-up, and parcel lockers. Retailers can also stand out by offering sustainable options for eco-conscious consumers.
- More marketing data. Omnichannel retail means collecting a lot of data from every customer interaction. Shopify predicts that this could make a big difference to attribution and strategic planning, helping you prepare for an even bigger season next year.
- More customer service. For most retailers, the shift to e-commerce means a lot more customer service queries. At the same time, omnichannel retail offers the digital tools and automation to handle those requests at scale. Retailers which focus on good communications will reap the rewards.
Are you ready for peak season?
Just as consumers have been forced to shop differently, the events of 2021 have pushed retailers to adapt faster than usual. Sectors such as health and beauty, which had clung onto in-store sales, suddenly made huge strides in e-commerce.
So, as we head into the peak season for holiday shopping, we expect omnichannel retailers to be the big winners. Consumers know what they want and they have plenty to spend. Will you be ready for them?
How do you manage customer expectations throughout the busy holiday shopping season? In this report, you will learn what Operations Experience Management is and how it can keep you connected to your customers during the Golden Quarter.
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