Infographic: The New Retail Purchasing Pathway

Omnichannel may be one of the most popular buzzwords, yet according to the Raconteur only 29% of UK retailers consider themselves to be “omnichannel” – providing a seamless shopping experience across different channels”.

Multichannel or Omnichannel

Whether your choose the industry term “multichannel” or “omnichannel”, omnichannel is just another buzzword for the same service problems: Creating a joined-up approach to your multiple channels; the ability to seamlessly continue a single conversation or transaction throughout the entire purchasing pathway, even if the customer chooses to change channel.

Retailers must provide this friction-free shopping experience online, in-store and across all devices – in order to keep up with the competition – or risk losing sales.

The New Retail Purchasing Pathway

Today’s retail purchasing pathway and customer journey has changed in today’s digital age. The rise of online and mobile commerce has fundamentally changed the way in which we shop, “more than 56% use their smartphone to compare prices online (showrooming) or download discount vouchers in store” – Dynatrace. The impact of this behaviour for retailers is not as 'black-and-white' as whether their customers are choosing to shop online or in-store.

The infographic below highlights the 5 stages of the new retail purchasing pathway: 15 years ago, the average consumer used two touch-points when buying an item and only 7% regularly used more than four. Today’s consumers use an average of almost 5 touch-points with nearly 50% regularly using more than three.

The rise in the average number of touch-points puts pressure on retailers, to ensure their customers delight in a consistent experience across all channels – whether they’re visiting from their eCommerce site, using a mobile app, using ‘Click & Collect’ or walking through their local high street – the journey needs to run smoothly, or retailers risk creating frustrating shopping experiences and pushing customers away.

The Importance of Business Continuity

With this pace of change and digitisation, retail operations must have a resilient technical infrastructure and robust, business continuity framework. Without this in place, many critical processes, eCommerce sites and third-parties are interdependent on each other and when one of those third parties has a problem, it can prevent staff from putting through a sale in store or can result in the site coming down. Potentially resulting in lost sales.

To reduce this risk of technical failure, Business Continuity is necessary to ensure that these critical functions and platforms will continue to operate despite serious incidents or disasters and will be recovered within a pre-defined period. Retailers need complete, real-time visibility into their entire end-to-end solution, in order to see every customer interaction and every business process on the back-end to see where and why issues might be occurring.

 

Is Omnichannel Worth it for Your Business?

Historically, too many retailers have been guilty of employing a siloed approach when it comes to the organisation of their business, a situation that makes accurately tracking customer activity all but impossible. Implementing omni-channel retail strategies is the only way that context can be derived in the age of the channel-hopping consumer, it provides all the data required to build the all-important single view of the customer.

In order for the omnichannel experience truly to work, the whole company has to be engaged in the idea from the top down. The retailer must set the definition for omnichannel and what’s best for the business given their specific goals and business model. The entire company from the CEO, to part-time shop assistants must be involved in the decision to implement an omnichannel vision through every interaction. For more advice on supplier selection, download our report: Choosing an IT System for Omnichannel Retail.

 

If you're considering changing your omnichannel retail solution, why not get in touch.

 

Learn More:

Omnichannel Retail Solutions

Order Management Software

Enterprise eCommerce Solutions

Microsoft Dynamics AX

 

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10 Indicators You've Outgrown Your ERP

10 Indicators You've Outgrown Your eCommerce

 

 

Infographic Source: http://raconteur.net/infographics/the-new-retail-purchasing-pathway