The term “omnichannel”, referring to a comprehensive approach using multiple sales channels for a complete and cohesive experience, is gaining importance, and adds to the blurred boundaries between offline and online modes of shopping. Gen Z an millennials are the main omnichannel shopping adopters, whether for buying products online after seeing them in a store or ordering products and picking them up from a physical retailer. For consumers of all ages, Kiabi was elected as the chain with the best omnichannel customer experience, considering that it can be a real challenge for many brands in terms of consistency: matching prices and availability of products is tricky in a highly competitive market.
Mixing online and offline channels
As digital solutions are progressively seen in-store, consumers have made use of their smartphone, often comparing prices online before purchasing the product. Other digital characteristics of in-store support services that triggered a high interest from clients was online information on products and stock availability.
Looking at the online sales of a company, these are mainly made through the use of marketplaces, primarily supported by Corevist or Magento to host and generate online sales. Shopify, acting as a commerce platform that allows anyone to set up an online store and sell their products, is now the leading commerce platform, represented by a 50 percent growth for shopify-supported businesses in 2019.
Social shopping, apps and the drive
An increasing trend in social selling is getting noticed, encouraged by numerous promotions. In fact, with Instagram's new shopping functions, 22 percent of people had already given it some attention back in 2018.
Auchan was the first generalist retailer which implemented the Drive technology in 2000. It has seen a high adoption rate in France in the past years. Acting as a logistics solution that allows consumers to order online and collect their purchases near their home without getting out of their car, the Drive generated a revenue of 9.2 billion eurors and is available either in classic drive mode or in pedestrian mode for convenience stores in the city center.
The best example of omnichannel retailing is Amazon Go, a technology relying on computer vision, sensor fusion and deep learning to eliminate checkout lines. Not yet available in France, 71 percent said that they were pleased by the new Amazon Go shopping services, if and when they will be implemented in the country.
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