Reaching the consumer has never been harder. 2020 has instituted an unprecedented step change in the way we work, socialize, and live; so how do marketing and sales keep pace with a cultural change of this magnitude? The answer is, and always has been, in Omnichannel.
Describing the multichannel e-commerce sales approach by which the customer receives an integrated shopping experience across all touchpoints, omnichannel has fast become a business necessity. Recently writing for Retail Gazette, Dr. Kirsten Cowan – a lecturer at the University of Edinburgh- wrote that “retailers that innovate in omnichannel will succeed amidst Covid-19”, adding that “the more channels retailers integrate, the more satisfied consumers are likely to feel”.
We live in a time where consumer mindset is king and providing both yourself and your consumer with more options to buy prepares you not just for the future, but for Covid-19 and the many business constraints that this might bring with it.
Integrating, Aligning and Unifying Multichannel E-commerce to Drive Productivity
Covid-19 has given rise to e-Commerce in a way that few could have expected. Due to a fear of shopping in physical locations more consumers have started to shop purely online. Just 10 years ago, e-commerce accounted for 5.1% of total retail purchases. In 2019 however, consumer online spending in the U.S. jumped to 14.9% over 2018.
According to recent estimates from eMarketer during 2020, US consumers will spend $709.78 billion on e-commerce in 2020, representing an increase of 18.0%, whilst brick-and-mortar retail spending is expected to decrease 14.0% to $4.184 trillion.
The simple fact of the matter is that 80% of Internet users in the US have made at least one purchase online but by 2040, around 95% of all purchases are expected to be conducted via e-commerce. Investment in your e-commerce portfolio isn’t just something that prepares you for Covid-19, it prepares you for a future certain to digitally transform. There are 3 areas to focus on when integrating, aligning, and unifying multichannel e-commerce to drive productivity.
Prioritizing your e-commerce system at this time is all well and good, but it will amount to nothing if you do not first optimize your systems for success. Referring to the enhancements made to your website which help you to convert visitors into customers, optimization has fast become essential. Though it might sound intensive, you can effectively optimize your systems by considering the following.
- Help customers to find your site through search engine optimizations
- Increase customer trust and conversion will follow
- Improve the design and UX across your website
- Build on the shopping experience with testimonials, surveys etc
- Ensure that your cart system works fluidly and reduces irritation
Meeting Rise in Demand
During 2020, US retail e-commerce sales are expected to reach $373.37bn, by 2024 its expected to rise to $476.46bn. Clearly, the pressure to meet demand is rising and omnichannel inventory management is how businesses might rise to tackle it. Omnichannel inventory management is the act of managing all of your business’ inventory across all of your channels, businesses should:
- Work to maintain and increase visibility across the supply chain
- Increase the ease at which stock can be moved across business channels
- Reduce the cost of return policies to prevent significant loss
- Give the customer more options when it comes to purchases, be it in-store or online
- Invest in innovation to help keep track of stock and its movement more easily
To learn more, download the full report here or continue the debate at the Omnichannel Insight Summit NA, a GDS Summit, where we bring together senior Sales & Marketing executives who are actively seeking to share, learn, engage, and find the best technology solutions.
GDS Group hosts experts to help experts. We strive to provide an atmosphere for our attendees that enables them to confidently lead their companies through major transformation projects. For information on upcoming events, view our Digital Summits. To remain current on our activities, visit GDS Group on LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter.