When thinking of convenience retail, it is easy to think that it only prioritizes location and product availability. However, with the emergence of omni-integration, customers can view, buy, return, or share products anytime and anywhere at the touch of a button, changing the way consumers see convenience. Now, online and offline channels are no longer separate entities, but complementary platforms that improve the retail experience. Customers now expect a seamless shopping experience whether they are shopping online through webstores, social media, or email promotions; or offline through mailed flyers, catalogues, or bricks-and-mortar stores. With click-and-collect, augmented reality, virtual assistants, endless aisle, lockers, and data-driven stores, omni-integration is an essential part of convenience in retail.
In The changing retail landscape, we identified four key themes impacting retail:
- Extreme convenience, the elimination of barriers to shopping (e.g., product availability, shipping times, customer service);
- Extreme experience, which focuses on creating a connection between the brand and consumer, but not just through product; and
- Sustainable practices, brands with purpose doing good for the earth and its humans.
- Omni-integration, the coalescence of online and offline retail channels
This time, we are taking a closer look at some interesting retailers demonstrating omni-integration.
While these examples don’t fall under the extreme convenience trend, the underlying mechanisms of each cannot be ignored by prudent retailers – convenience store operators or otherwise. The primary advantage of omni-integration is data collection, which we have seen in each of these examples. Being able to analyze consumer patterns, demographics, and product movement can make a huge difference in improving access – the real metric of convenience.
Next quarter we will examine extreme experience. Stay tuned!
To read about more Omni Integration concepts, download your free copy of our Global Retail Trends and Innovations 2021 HERE.