The State of Omnichannel Retail in 2017
Over the last few years, retail has changed drastically. Some argue that it's the year of mobile (every year), others say brick-and-mortar shops are done — but pop-up shops are trendy. And while the ever-popular click-baity headline of how "email is dead" continues to pop-up on our news feeds, digital and e-commerce sales say otherwise. However, when it comes down to it, retailers agree reaching customers through an omnichannel strategy is essential for a thriving retail business. Which leads me to this question: What's the state of omnichannel in 2017?
According to The Harvard Business Review (HBR), a study of 46,000 consumers show that omnichannel retailing is not only working, it's thriving. The study was conducted over a 14-month period from June 2015 to August 2016, and customers were asked about every aspect of their shopping journeys, specifically focusing on which channels they used and why. Overall, only 7 percent of respondents were online only, and 20 percent were store-only shoppers.
The report states sales through digital channels (including mobile) increased by an incredible 23 percent in 2015. Much of the success goes to online retailers — one e-commerce Goliath in particular. Amazon.com is the biggest beneficiary, now accounting for 26 percent of all online retail sales.
Overall, the study concluded that a retailer's omnichannel customers are its most valuable. They spent an average of 4 percent more on every shopping occasion in-store and 10 percent more online than single-channel customers. For example, customers who used four or more channels spent 9 percent more in-store, on average, than those who just used one channel to shop.
Lastly, the study revealed the more informed the consumer is, the more likely they will spend more in-store. The finding goes against the "spur of the moment" shopping mind-set, proving 2017 will be the age of the informed consumer.
For more about the study and its findings, find the full HBR article here.