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E-commerce vs In-store? Retailers need to embrace Omnichannel to succeed in 2017

Chart of the Day: Utilizing digital to drive consumers into store sees a resurgence with Retailers

Customers are increasingly expecting retailers to give them the convenience of browsing online from where ever they are; in the car, in a bar, from Wichita...you get the idea. This ability to visit a store, find the same products at the same price and take it home at the point of purchase with no waiting or delivery charges, can make or break a consumer's choice to spend their hard earned money. In the last few years, many high street brands are embracing multichannel here in the UK e.g. Argos, Debenhams and Next to name a few but many others aren't.

Retailers' Primary Role Of Digital Channels

In this research from RSR Research, we see that while the primary role of digital channels is to sell products, in second place is for digtial to drive people to store with 23% of respondents saying that it as the primary role of their digital channels. The interesting aspect here is the shift over the last 3 years, indicating that retailers saw digital as a primary driver to get people into the store in 2014 (23%) but in 2015 we see a key strategic shift to keep people online to purchase via their E-commerce store as the drive to store dropped to 11%. 2016 saw a resurgence of brands utilising digital channels to promote their in-store offerings with 20% saying that digitals primary role was to drive people into stores.

Omnichannel or multichannel (if you wish) is the best way for retailers to meet everybody's needs, there will always people who prefer to shop in-store, others who will be 100% online and the customers who will do a combo of both. The important thing to note here is that consumers want "choice". They require retailers to allow them to purchase your products when and where it is most convenient for them and not you.

By Patrick Kelly

I'm the Senior Digital Marketing Manager at Smart Insights. I have spent many years working with both B2B and B2C brands to implement data-driven marketing strategies covering paid search, SEO, Social media and marketing automation. You will also find me catching up on the latest Marvel releases or playing the latest RPG.

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