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How Omnichannel Retail Will Affect the Future of Brands

The concept of shopping has evolved since the digital age, causing brands to take an omnichannel business approach to reach their target audiences through a variety of mediums. Omnichannel (multichannel) is a consumer-centered approach that strives to offer a seamless shopping experience through multiple retail channels. With COVID-19 changing the way consumers operate their daily lives, brands must have different paths to purchase to offer ease and convenience in times of uncertainty.

The Continued Rise of Digital Convenience

Over the past few years, we have seen a surge of online retailers offering a new and virtual shopping experience. According to a 2019 study by Redpoint Global, direct-to-consumer strategies like e-commerce will comprise 50 percent of CPG sales growth in 2025. Businesses like Amazon are challenging brick-and-mortar stores by offering products in all verticals and categories to buy through one, easy click. With high consumer demand for convenient purchasing, several brands are adding more direct-to-consumer options through online channels.

With digital, comes the increased use of voice and mobile shopping, through phones and speakers. Consumers are using electronic devices for most of their daily tasks, from alarms to daily reminders to shopping orders. Due to this increased usage, retailers and businesses are creating space for mobile shopping apps. From using social media to creating their own branded apps, brands are taking over to reach their audience in an individualized way.

Brands in all verticals are increasing their digital footprints to reach their consumers. The digital age is going to become more advanced with time. Businesses need to penetrate all portions of their digital landscape and continue to evolve with the trends to truly maintain and grow their consumer following and loyalty.

Brick-and-Mortar Isn’t Dead, It’s Revolutionized

With more and more consumers adapting to online and mobile shopping, the way shoppers treat brick-and-mortar stores has changed. A few years back, people were convinced the onward trend of digital purchases was going to result in more traditional storefronts closing.

Since then, many brands have evolved their shopping experience online-and-offline to cater to their customers. Think about it, there are ups and downs to each method – with online shopping you can’t feel, taste, and touch the product; with traditional shopping it can be time-consuming, and you may not find exactly what you want. But if you combine those two efforts together it can enhance the customer experience. Product reviews and enhanced online shopping feeds are aiding driving sales to a specific brand both in-stores and online.

Most shoppers are now researching products before they purchase. According to GE Capital Retail Bank’s second annual Major Purchase Shopper Study, 81 percent of consumers go online before heading out to the store. With such a high percentage of consumers looking for online channels when researching products, it can promote a more personalized experience. Consumers can learn more about the product, possibly order online to pick up at the store, or they can have easy returns and exchanges in-stores for online purchases. Both methods complement each other, creating a competitive advantage over comparable brands.

The omnichannel approach will only continue to strengthen as new retail innovations form. Enhancing all of your channels to create a comprehensive strategy yields the potential for maximum returns.

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Laura Lee

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