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Why Omnichannel Retail is a Must in 2021

Posted by Laurie Buckelew on Jan 18, 2021 12:00:00 PM
Laurie Buckelew

You probably hear and use various marketing jargon (apparently, TOFU isn’t just a meat substitute), but let’s focus on one term in particular: omnichannel retailing.

What is omnichannel retailing?

Think of it this way: consumers use physical storefronts, websites, mobile apps, and social media to research, browse, and purchase products. Consumers do not think of these as channels or devices; it’s all shopping for them. Omnichannel retailing refers to the practice of selling across all destinations (aka channels or devices) and delivering a seamless shopping experience. Retailers offering omnichannel shopping reach more customers and provide an interconnected experience spanning across channels and devices.

75% of consumers expect a consistent experience wherever they engage with a brand, regardless of the channel. (Source: Salesforce)

The importance of omnichannel e-commerce in 2021

This year, more than ever, retailers like you will need to stay focused on engaging and converting customers wherever they spend their time. You need to meet and serve your customers on their preferred channels—whether on the web, in person, or both—otherwise, it will be difficult for you to compete. For brick-and-mortar retailers, this means blending your physical and digital storefronts because, due to COVID-19, it may be a while until your customers are ready for in-store shopping excursions. And many will continue to buy online and pick up in-store (BOPIS) versus waiting (and often paying) for shipping.

By 2021, 90% of retailers will offer the Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store option. (Source: Retail Touchpoints)

Related Reading: How BOPIS is Giving Brick & Mortars a Winning Edge

Using live videos and mobile apps

With consumers spending less time out and about and more time in front of their devices, they’re indulging in activities like online shopping. U.S. retailers are quickly discovering that selling through live, shoppable video is the perfect way to leverage a growing consumer trend. Using live selling, video hosts and models demonstrate an item’s style, fit, etc. They can even respond to product questions in real-time. With live streaming technology, customers don’t have to phone in or visit a website to make a purchase or speak to a salesperson like in the days of QVC. Today, purchasing from one of these live sales can be as simple as leaving a comment and paying the automatically generated invoice.


Between January 2020 and July 2020, CommentSold saw a 270% increase in the number of its retailers selling via livestream, as well as a 50% increase in spend per viewer. (Source: CommentSold)


Mobile apps also make shopping easier for customers. Shopping through apps has risen in popularity throughout 2020. A recent study from the mobile app tracker found that 59% of U.S. adults prefer to shop using their mobile phone. Mobile apps add tremendous value for both you and your customer, and luckily, you no longer need to know code or spend a fortune to get one. CommentSold recently rolled out its immersive, feature-rich shopping apps to all Business plan customers, at no extra cost.


On average, shops see a 20% increase in revenue within 6 months of launching a CommentSold mobile app, and mobile app shoppers are 220% more likely to repurchase than non-app shoppers. (Source: CommentSold)

Related Reading: 3 Ways to Leverage Mobile Selling with CommentSold

The Takeaway

Omnichannel retail does a lot more than facilitate sales. Provide a seamless customer experience, foster trust, ease shopping via mobile phone, showcase unique personalities, and build relationships and loyalty with an omnichannel strategy.

Learn about more trends to watch out for in 2021 in our guide, The Changing Retail Landscape: What Business Owners Need To Know.

 

Topics: Business Strategy

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