Omni Channel Becoming a Focus of Competition for Leading Online Retailers

Omnichannel Commerce

Amazon’s got a pretty solid hold of the eCommerce market, but smaller retailers are optimizing their online and in-store strategies to gain a competitive edge. According to the recent BDO USA, LLP survey, the majority of online retailers expect their eCommerce sales to continue to climb in the coming year, leading them to identify omni channel as a key growth strategy in 2014.

Taking full advantage of eCommerce and mobile transactions requires more than a simple retail website with payment functionality. The most successful omni channel merchants integrate their systems and focus on providing a consistent, fluid experience for shoppers across digital platforms. These methods help them to derive greater benefits from reporting capabilities and business intelligence analytics as well.

“After a banner year of eCommerce and m-commerce growth in 2013, retailers largely expect these platforms to keep delivering big returns in the year ahead,” said Natalie Kotlyar, partner in the Retail and Consumer Products practice at BDO USA, LLP.

Leading brands are blurring the lines between online and in-store, integrating innovative retail technology into both physical stores and online platforms.

“But safeguarding this future growth requires online retailers to invest in omni channel in order to deliver a safe, seamless and efficient experience for shoppers. All the moving parts – mobile apps, websites, supply chain IT systems, brick-and-mortar – need to be carefully coordinated for companies to hold their own in this fiercely competitive landscape.”

Business 2 Community contributor Karri Carlson, VP of social insights at Leadtail, explained that the next stage of retail marketing isn’t about choosing between brick-and-mortar and online operations – it’s about making the distinction disappear. She described how leading brands are blurring the lines between online and in-store, integrating innovative retail technology into both physical stores and online platforms. For example, some stores provide kiosks enabling customers to look up the same information they would be able to seek while browsing online. If a customer does not see the product in stock at the store, they can simply use the kiosk to ship the product to their house from the store’s fulfillment center.

With innovative retail technology, online retailers can create a seamless omni channel experience defined by flexibility and convenience no matter where a customer shops.

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Read more on how consolidating customer information can improve the omni channel shopping experience while optimizing your site and eCommerce operations for mobile will ensure omni channel delivery.

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