How retailers are driving shoppers to physical stores via digital channels

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By Modern Retail

As retailers navigate a new shopping and consumer landscape after years of disruptions, investments in omnichannel are critical to meet shopper expectations, elevating the customer experience and driving revenue.

According to McKinsey, omnichannel customers make purchases 70% more often and spend about 34% more than consumers who shop one channel exclusively. For retailers, this underscores the importance of delivering effective and frictionless omnichannel experiences across online and mobile to drive shoppers to stores.

Brands and retailers that began their digital transformation efforts before the pandemic have been able to maintain momentum, while others have had to slow their work in this area. This delay may also be hindering shoppers’ retail experiences.

Shoppers expect omnichannel at every level of retail. According to the ‘2023 Omnichannel Leadership Report’ from NewStore, omnichannel growth has accelerated as leading retailers adopt new offerings and technology to survive the current environment — but not all retailers are investing in their digital transformations at the same rate.

“As omnichannel becomes the standard, you have to have these capabilities to be a good retailer,” said Rick Berger, president of NewStore. “Retailers have to find more ways to innovate, so they can compete and win against each other and compete and win against pure players like Amazon.”

Retailers are encouraging foot traffic with omnichannel offerings
As consumer interest in bricks-and-mortar rebounds, more brands and retailers are using online and mobile channels to encourage shoppers to return to stores and offer more convenient and elevated experiences than in the past.

“It’s good discipline for retailers to drive shoppers to stores, where the average order value actually goes up,” Berger explained. “It is so critical to get an experience on an e-commerce site, like buy-online-and-pickup-in-store, right because that’s the entry point for shoppers. Then when shoppers get in the store, it’s equally important that it’s a consistent, good experience, so the consumer walks out of the store with that merchandise and maybe something else.”

The ‘2023 Omnichannel Leadership Report’ found that 54% of brands offered BOPIS in 2022 — part of their bid to deliver speed and convenience — while only a quarter offered curbside pickup. Likely a result of staffing shortages, the emphasis on BOPIS rather than curbside pickup drives more shoppers out of their cars and into stores where there is the opportunity for incremental sales.

Meanwhile, buy-online-return-in-store is another customer-centric approach that increases the likelihood that shoppers will make extra purchases. According to the report, 72% of brands offered BORIS and gave shoppers a convenient way to return purchases made online.

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