Omnichannel Business Strategy Is Still A Work-In-Progress
Reuters reports that U.S. online sales from Cyber Monday 2016 are set to surpass initial expectations by hitting a record $3.39 billion. Unfortunately, the report also concluded that the rate of growth on Cyber Monday was slower than Black Friday and Thanksgiving, when sales grew 21.6% and 11.5% respectively.
With omnichannel experiences gaining momentum in the retail space. These recent findings suggest a long road ahead for the development of an all-encompassing consumer experience. This week’s retail outcome isn’t entirely surprising. Multiple industry reports over the past 6 months have also indicated that performance fails to keep pace with business’ eager intentions to develop profitable omnichannel strategies.
In a survey and report from Netsertive and the CMO Council, 94% of respondents said that omnichannel “is either important or critical to reaching their business goals.” Yet, “42% of marketers admit they are struggling to measure the impact of digital marketing efforts specific to their ability to drive in-store sales and engagements.”
“Five Insights into the Omnichannel Landscape,” a benchmark report from eTail East and WBR Digital, also reveals that that 75% of retailers consider omnichannel essential to their business but almost half (49%) stated they are not actively investing in an omnichannel retail strategy. This thorough investigation into omnichannel trends also shed light on what may be a significant implementation barrier - for 39% of retailers, their outdated systems are taking a toll on omnichannel integration efforts. It is such a problem that a mere one-third of retailers consider themselves as having completed their omnichannel journey.
Time to throw in the towel? Not yet. There is still a lot of promise for omnichannel business services as consumer interactions with technological platforms continues to evolve. People may carry out the entire research process for a particular product on their phones but then turn to desktop computers to execute the final purchase. “Consumers will take the path of least resistance, so retailers must eradicate the barriers that prevent shoppers from making a purchase on their smartphones.”
How businesses innovate to dissolve these consumer barriers are yet to be determined. Technology and infrastructure will be a significant determining factor. Dynamic advertising will also play an important role in helping to connect the dots between these channels and informing consumer journeys. “Although content has to fit the format of each channel — and the way consumers use that channel — it’s important to view shoppers holistically. This means being able to see all their interactions, regardless of where they took place.