As retailers work to navigate the ever-changing technology landscape, a few trends are emerging that retailers should be aware of as they 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 the CTA’s Retail Innovations 2022 report and how retailers can embrace omnichannel strategies to find success in a digital world.
Hummel says the surge in online purchasing seen during the pandemic is expected to stay at levels above what was 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.”
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 just 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.
“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. “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/return policies—and the advantages offered by online shopping—better inventory, more convenient and easier to browse.”
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.
See how Ace Hardware and Do it Best are building their omnichannel strategies to better serve retailers and help members be more successful in a digital world.