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As retailers work to navigate the ever-changing technology landscape, a few trends are emerging they should be aware of to plan their own technology strategies. Steven Hummel, manager of market research for the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the producer of CES®, shares his insights from CTA’s Retail Innovations 2022 Report and the ways retailers can embrace omnichannel strategies to find success in a dual digital and brick-and-mortar world.
Tune into Episode 54 of NHPA’s “Taking Care of Business” podcast to hear insights from Grant Morrow and Stephanie Lee, who lead Orgill’s e-commerce and product data programs, on how independent retailers are building their omnichannel presence. Listen now at YourNHPA.org/tcb-pod.
Online Purchasing Stays Popular
Hummel says the surge in online purchasing seen during the pandemic is expected to stay at levels above those seen before COVID-19.
“During the height of COVID-19, consumers were increasingly exposed to online shopping and experienced the benefits of convenience,” Hummel says. “As more consumers currently use both online and in-store channels, retailer support for both channels has become increasingly important.”
Dual Presence Is a Must
According to the CTA report, over half of consumers ages 18 to 34, those living in urban areas and those with children living in their household say it is important or very important for retail to have a physical and digital presence. Retailers with a strong omnichannel retail strategy that goes beyond a digital and physical footprint will fare best in this new retail landscape, Hummel says. Digital and physical locations should complement each other rather than compete.
“Both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar retailers should look to integrate their single-channel in-store and online shopping experience to create a more streamlined purchase journey for consumers,” Hummel says. “This way, customers can interact with retailers both online and at physical store locations, leveraging the unique advantages offered by in-store, such as ‘try before you buy,’ physically interacting with products and better exchange and return policies. They also receive the advantages offered by online shopping—better inventory, more convenience and easier to browse.”
Omnichannel Brings Bonus Benefits
CTA’s research also found that the benefits of omnichannel strategies can extend beyond the consumer to the retailer.
“Omnichannel strategies lead to improved consumer experience, higher customer satisfaction, customer retention, better understanding of customers to increase personalization and higher brand awareness,” Hummel says.