As the world emerges from COVID-19, omnichannel becomes a priority in retail

Thursday, Jun 18, 2020

The current pandemic has proven to be a catalyst for change across all industries, especially retail. Although the world is now emerging from COVID-19, things will never be the same. Many retailers are finding that an omnichannel approach needs to be adopted, and will drive these capabilities going forward.

When it comes to an omnichannel model, there are various trends that retailers will need to adopt to help define this transition and make the shopping experience easier for consumers.

Fulfillment capabilities have become especially crucial for retailers during this time. While e-commerce remained a preference during the lockdown, physical stores will always be an integral part of the retail equation. Stores can now be used as fulfillment centers, allowing consumers to use methods such as buy-online, pick up in-store. Using physical stores will ultimately deliver the most efficiency, speed and convenience to consumers who are wishing to order online.

Retailers need to face the facts —omnichannel saves sales. When unexpected market forces happen, such as COVID-19, a unified system that combines physical and digital channels offers an alternative to shoppers that could potentially save a business. Those with omnichannel strategies will have a better chance at protecting their business in the long run, instead of relying on short-term solutions. In order to truly rise from this pandemic and potentially recover, a long-term solution is essential. By adapting a holistic approach to omnichannel strategies, it is possible to bridge the gap, stay afloat and remain connected to consumers.

As consumers begin to resurge, they will crave choice in their retail shopping experience and expect to shop anywhere at any time. They will also be looking to reconnect with their favorite retailers in an even better retail experience — one where they can be offered a variety of omnichannel services.

“Most would agree that multiple channels to market will help a retailer spread risk and keep channels of communication open to their customers. Online shopping habits will be more entrenched post-pandemic, but we can’t discount the pent-up desire for meaningful ‘real-world’ experiences that many consumers will have in store. In this sense the new reality of retail does look to be an omnichannel one,” said Chris Field, Retail Analyst and Chairman of Retail Connections.

All retailers have room to improve their omnichannel methods as consumer shopping preferences continue to change and evolve. Before the shutdown, many companies looked at omnichannel as part of their future plans, however that is no longer the case — now it needs to be a priority.

Source: COVID Drives Omnichannel Capabilities, COVID-19 Fast-Tracked Retail Change, Post COVID-19 Omnichannel Method, Bouncing Back after COVID
Photo Credit: iStock

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Article Topics: Growth | Omnichannel

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