Omnichannel is omnipresent in retail right now. A recent study by JDA and PwC found that retail CEOs are planning to spend 26% of their investment capital on omnichannel readiness this year, including omnichannel fulfillment options for customers (51%) and building seamless customer shopping experiences (49%).
These type of changes don’t come cheap. A recent study found that retailers are spending 18 cents of every dollar earned trying to meet customers’ expectations for a buy anywhere, pick up anywhere experience. So what’s the attraction?
Betting on omnichannel pays big
Simply stated, customers demand an omnichannel experience, both while shopping on their mobile devices and when shopping in a bricks-and-mortar store. 60% of US consumers interact with brands through multiple channels and 89% say they want to be able to shop using the channel that’s most convenient for them.
Retailers who invest in creating a true omnichannel shopping environment online and instore are reaping major benefits. Target posted major gains in digital sales Q4 2015 thanks in large part to effective “buy online, pick up in-store” (BOPIS) strategy, and J.C. Penney is seeing similar results with a 4.1 percent sales increase in Q4 and 4.5 percent increase for the year thanks to their omnichannel and web efforts.
Even stores with strong digital sales need to build an in-store experience that harnesses the best of online shopping and makes the transition from mobile to bricks-and-mortar purchases seamless. Macy’s is considering just such an approach.
Blurring the line between online and in-store
Large retailers have to build a seamless online and in-store experience that is at once innovative and personally engaging. These devices are helping major retailers win omnichannel:
- iPad-based kiosks (like Aila’s Interactive Kiosk) welcome and engage at the point of entry and throughout the store, both in the aisles and in the fitting room. Major clothing retailers have reported incredible success building smart fitting rooms with this type of technology, and popular shoe retailers are piloting the same tech to create an endless aisle experience for customers to explore their full inventory.
- In-store mobile devices aren’t new, but the next-gen devices with highly evolved scanning technology are redefining the term. Aila’s Mobile Imager, for instance, gives associates a truly one-handed scanning experience for ease of use that’s unprecedented. Completing BOPIS transactions, clienteling, providing product information and doing inventory has never been more efficient and more effective. Retailers arming their associates with the next generation of mobile devices have future proofed their staff workflows.
Aila’s technologies are designed around iOS devices, so they support highly engaging apps on the preferred devices for retail. They are also beautifully designed, so displays are eye-catching and engaging for the customer, providing a seamless experience around the store with devices the customer is already familiar with.
Progressive retailers know digital is their future, but the truly innovative ones are bringing digital to their bricks-and-mortar stores, blurring the lines between the online and in-store experience and delivering the best of both worlds to better serve their customers.
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