There’s no denying e-commerce has disrupted the retail industry. The
advent of online shopping has transformed the buyer’s journey, forcing
retailers to meet the anytime, anywhere demands of increasingly tech-savvy shoppers.
While the U.S. Census Bureau concluded e-commerce sales accounted for only 10.7%
of all sales1 in the second quarter of 2019, online shopping has steadily
been taking a bigger piece of the retail pie every year.
multi-channel shopping journey
Today’s consumers have more shopping options than ever before, coupled with competitive pricing, better merchandise assortments and faster delivery. The customer journey is evolving. Consumers are moving across digital channels to research, purchase and review products, adding to the complexity retailers already face. In BRP’s 2019 Consumer Shopping Survey, we found that digital consumers have higher expectations of customer service and personalized recommendations than traditional consumers. Digital consumers use technology to make the shopping process easier and more personalized, while traditional consumers are more concerned with finding the product they need and having it available in the store they shop. Despite their varying preferences, we found that 97% of digital consumers and 90% of traditional consumers do online research before they visit a store.
consumers now start and stop their shopping journey on different channels, such
as mobile, online or in-store, and frequently shop for the same product across
different retailers, a seamless shopping experience across an entire brand is
the expectation. The survey found that 82% shopped and reviewed products online
and then purchased the item in the store. Each of these steps along the
shopping journey is providing retailers with new opportunities to drive sales,
strengthen relationships and build customer loyalty.
the physical and digital shopping experience
Despite the e-commerce revolution, physical
stores play a vital role in the shopping journey. Retailers that blend the
physical and digital shopping experience are set to achieve greater gains over
the competition. Providing a true unified commerce approach, one where digital technology is embedded into the shopping
journey, requires a transformation of people, technology and processes. Retailers who find that perfect balance will not
only be successful at providing customers with the information and convenience
desired but will deliver a truly cohesive brand experience.
For further insight on the impacts of e-commerce on the retail industry, download the BRP Special Report: The E-Commerce Effect.1https://www.census.gov/retail/mrts/www/data/pdf/ec_current.pdf
Jeffrey Neville is the Senior Vice President and Practice Lead for BRP Consulting, now part of Windstream Enterprise. Jeffrey is a business-focused technology strategist with a passion for generating company results through process change and technology innovation. His experience includes both managing e-commerce and SaaS businesses and consulting with clients on their growth strategies, business and operating models and customer and market strategies. Jeffrey also has extensive experience in helping IT and engineering organizations make the transition to agile development and DevOps methodologies. Jeffrey’s combination of consulting and operating experiences in North America, the EU and China enables him to bring a unique perspective to business challenges when partnering with his clients.
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