Omnichannel retail trends in 2021

7 mins

Omnichannel definition

An omnichannel experience in retail is focused on giving customers the ability to interact with a brand across multiple media, channels, and touchpoints.

A seamless omnichannel customer experience is vital in creating the perfect customer journey. Customers have the ability to pick up where they left off and continue their experiences on various platforms.

Embracing the world of omnichannel is not a simple feat. Nowadays, having a store alone is not enough to keep you in the limelight. There are a whole host of moving parts to the eCommerce machine and every one of them needs to be working simultaneously.

The complex omnichannel model relies on balancing big data, service coordination, processes and operations, but if done correctly can propel your business forwards!

Brands can see a real value by unifying their commerce offering and giving customers more opportunities to browse, engage, react and purchase.

What is omnichannel commerce?

With omnichannel commerce, consumers are not limited to a single type of engagement, they can interact with brands across multiple touchpoints and get to the checkout in a variety of ways.

How is omnichannel commerce shaping the way customers shop online? What is the impact on their customer experience?

We’ve put together 5 key trends to look out for this year:

Accelerated digital transformations

The global pandemic has changed the retail landscape forever. 2020 saw a huge shift in the desire and need for online business.

Traditional brick and mortar retailers have been forced to rethink their strategies due to the closure of physical stores during the various lockdowns.

Digital transformation is, therefore, a top priority for industries across a variety of sectors.

Businesses have also been forced to reevaluate their existing eCommerce offering to make sure it aligns with the rise in online traffic and activity. They must consider if they are able to offer additional features and capabilities to suit their customers’ changing needs.

In 2021 this will remain a priority as retail continues to move away from the high street.

Social Shopping

Due to social distancing restrictions and the closure of non-essential retail, brands are unable to have traditional live and interactions with their shoppers.

This calls for a digital replacement that services the same personable connection, albeit remotely – hence shoppable video.

Shoppable Video

There has been a huge push for digital platforms such as Facebook, and to ramp up their eCommerce strategies and this will only continue to grow.

Introducing customer-focussed platform features such as Google Shoploop, a new interactive way to sell and shop, and Facebook Shops, an online storefront, are making it easier to spark interest amongst users and generate sales.

Instagram and social shopping

Instagram is also a major player, currently exploring shoppable reels and having last year released an update that changed the entire interface by introducing Instagram shop.

This personalised feature promotes products from brands and creators and lets users shop from a new and curated feed. New technologies are constantly being introduced to make shopping easier for customers, and brands must stay on top of the current trends and keep their audiences happy.

Social media campaigns may also contribute to overall growth by also featuring contests and promotions that boost engagement and shareability.

These competitions help increase exposure for brands and their products, and customers are incentivised to continue to check in on what the brand is promoting.

Video Marketing: Using video to increase sales

Retailers need to embrace the recent shifts in shopping behaviour, and rethink their engagement strategies.

Keeping your customers engaged in your brand is one of the key struggles in the current age. Enhancing the omnichannel experience and finding new ways to drive customer acquisition is a large focus of any digital strategy. Using video as a medium to drive sales is an effective way to visually entice audiences.

Video marketing opens up opportunities for retailers. Customers are able to see the quality of a product in real-time, and it’s easy to share content across social channels which helps to increase engagement, brand awareness and reach. Some videos have the possibility of going viral which could benefit your brand even more.  The demand for video content is increasing day by day. Hubspot found that over half of consumers (54%) want to see more video content from a brand or business they support.

Using video marketing to engage customers

Shoppable video clips are a huge advancement for brands as users will be able to access product details straight from the video screen. As well as enhancing the customer experience, this will also allow merchants to appeal to wider audiences. Marketing Dive has predicted that livestream-generated sales are expected to double to $120 billion worldwide this year.

Mobile Optimisation and PWAs

It is important to know how to optimise your website for mobile. Mobile optimisation should be a key focus of any omnichannel strategy. According to Oberlo, as many as 90 percent of shoppers say that their experiences with mobile commerce could be better. So what can be done to improve this issue?

PWAs (Progressive Web Apps) enables an ultrafast front-end that loads within seconds. Using technology such as Frontastic, merchants are able to build extraordinary digital experiences that boost conversions for their customers.

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)

PWAs offer a more seamless and enjoyable browsing experience for customers. With an attention span of just 8 seconds, which is decreasing 88% year on year, customers are generally impatient and expect instantaneous results. That’s where PWAs step in.

PWAs are websites that give users an app-like experience, combining the best app features e.g push notifications, camera use and GPS tracking. Statista reports that 70% of worldwide retail commerce sales came from mobile last year. Using a PWA as part of your omnichannel strategy could really help boost those mobile conversions.

Hyper-personalised multi-channel experiences

Omnichannel solutions cater to the new type of consumers who are increasingly personalised and experience-seeking. Merchants will see the need to empower a personalised ecommerce customer experience by offering a unified omnichannel solution.

Technology platforms such as Fresh Relevance can be implemented to maximize the customer experience across various channels including email, website & app. As users browse eCommerce websites, technology tools can be used to track their behaviour and offer real-time product suggestions based on their browsing history. This is a win-win for merchants as it creates a positive and individual experience for customers, whilst also highlighting specific products to drive sales.

If you need help with your omnichannel eCommerce strategy, our eCommerce experts are here and ready to help. Email success@5874commerce.com or call 0121 369 5874 to speak to one of our talented team members.

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