The Need for Omnichannel Retailing

Published 11 September 2020 by Edda Blumenstein

Customers today expect a seamless and personalised shopping experience on all available channels and across the whole customer journey. Retailers and brands have been responding to these expectations by adopting Omnichannel retailing. 87% of leading US retailers believe Omnichannel retailing to be the key to success in today’s dynamic retail environment.


So what is Omnichannel retailing?

Omnichannel retailing is the latest step in the evolution of retailing strategies, which has progressed from Single-channel, Multi-channel, Cross-channel to Omnichannel. Single-channel retailing is the simplest form, multi-channel retailers operate all channels in silos, whereas cross-channel retailers operate in integrated channels. While Cross-channel retailing enables retailers to make in-store assortment and inventory information available online, it does not meet today’s customer expectations for a seamless and personalised shopping experience. This is where the need for Omnichannel retailing emerges.

Omnichannel retailing is a customer centric strategy that puts the customer first at each step of the purchase journey.

Having a seamless customer journey enables customers to move through the stages of the purchase journey and between channels without friction. For example connecting the shopping basket between mobile and desktop and enabling seamless payment options such as with Apple Wallet and PayPal.

A personalised customer experience is about knowing and responding to individual customer needs. It requires retailers and brands to move away from mass marketing and generalised messages to a marketing strategy that is tailored to individual customer needs. This won’t just keep your customers happy... The likelihood of a purchase has been found to be 80% more likely with personalisation.

So, how does a retailer/brand adopt Omnichannel retailing?


Well, the first step is to develop a strategy that is tailored to the retailer or the brand and their future vision and then evaluate existing retailing capabilities. Adopting Omnichannel retailing entails identifying and designing each step of the customer journey, tailoring it to customer expectations and seamlessly connecting the channels on each step.

Circus Street’s new online course provides you with detailed knowledge regarding the fundamentals of Omnichannel retailing, how to create an Omnichannel retailing strategy that is tailored to your business and your customers, and finally key considerations and challenges of implementing Omnichannel retailing.

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