The landscape for stores is rapidly changing from people who buy in shopping streets to people who buy online. Around the world news items show up in which is written that institutes expect a decline in physical stores over the next years. In this article it will become clear why omni-channel is the future for retailers and what the benefits are.
Mobility of Customers
Customers are getting more mobile as we speak; mobile device producers ship more of their products quarterly. People are spending more time on their mobile devices, which they use for all kinds of things. Recent research shows that approximately 82% of both tablet and mobile phone users uses their device to surf the web. 30% of the questioned persons use both smartphone and tablet to shop online. In addition to that 45% of the interviewed persons makes an actual purchase using a tablet. When looking at sequential screening (using numerous devices to accomplish a task) 67% of the respondents shop online.
What is Omni-Channel?
Omni-channel retailing is nothing new. It’s an evolution of multi-channel retailing and focuses more on a seamless experience through all available channels. Customers will start using channels simultaneously more often as they become more mobile. At the same time retailers can use omni-channel to better track their customers over all channels. Furthermore when omni-channel is fully implemented all of the different channels will run from one central database. Promotions and merchandise are no longer channel specific, but consistent across all retail channels.
Some large stores have already implemented an omni-channel model, after all this technique has been around for a while. One of the biggest benefits is that you can make a specific profile of every customer based on their purchase history, store visits, online presence, website visits and so on. This means that you can market products very precise for your customers. Omni-channel shoppers tend to spend 15%-30% more money than multi-channel shoppers do.
With an omni-channel model the line between a physical store and the online store slowly disappears. People can for example order their products online and pick them up from the store they select, or even better fit it in the store and save it in their shopping cart to buy the item at home. This also makes it easier to set up loyalty programs, which you can also use to identify your customers needs.
Local and Global Sales Forecast
Forecasts state that US online sales will increase over 62% from $231 billion in 2012 to $370 billion in 2017. In Europe the forecast doesn’t look any different with a 11% year on year increase. Forecasted is that the European market will grow from $145.5 billion in 2012 to $248.3 billion in 2017. The strongest grow is expected in southern Europe countries like Italy and Spain with 18% yearly growth. omnivoid inc