Retailers have found that as much as e-commerce has gotten good traction, and physical retail is still very much relevant, that to effectively reach their customers, the two have to work in concert. Retailers who effectively use data analytics can bring their retail efforts to greater heights, with a team empowered by technology and being one step ahead of their customers, in the digital and physical space.
The wealth of knowledge available to retailers give a good case to work out the advantages and disadvantages of online and physical retail. While from the perspective of the retailer, the considerations for cost and benefits can be a major consideration, it goes beyond that in the eyes of an ever-evolving and savvier customer base.
To stay relevant with customers, retailers need to stop looking at physical and online space as separate entities. Omnichannel retail has been thrown about as the buzzword that retailers need to focus on to keep ahead in their businesses.
With more channels opening up between retailers and customers, retailers should examine their processes in detail. How efficient is their multichannel approach? Do customers feel disjointed in their experience when they shift from filling up their information on a store’s webpage and have to give that information again to a customer service spokesperson? Providing a seamless experience becomes the baseline competency for retailers that once established, can be built upon to provide better convenience and experiences.