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O2O Commerce: Improving service through omnichannel commerce and digital disruption

Retailers must embrace new business models that include omnichannel support and marketing in order to survive in this consumer centric on-demand economy, writes Gaurav Patni.

The consumer landscape today is characterised by demand for personalised products, immediate product availability, electronic interactions and new distribution channels. ‘Omnichannel retailing’ is the new mantra focused on providing a seamless shopping experience to customers across a variety of channels.

Research Online, Purchase Offline or ROPO is a key aspect of consumer behaviour. According to DigitasLBi, 88 per cent of consumers search for a product online before buying instore.

Deloitte Digital’s 2015 research found 40 per cent of consumers are driven by digital influence for their instore visits.

Digital influence deloitte

Deliotte Digital, 2015

Retailers that fail to engage their customers across digital and mobile channels risk losing them to their competitors!

Online cart abandonment rates are 70 per cent and growing for retailers that fail to provide appropriate engagement channels, says SaleCycle. The discerning retailer should be able to see this as an opportunity.

SalesCycle, 2014

SalesCycle, 2014

O2O or Online to Offline, or Offline to Online Commerce is a key component of omnichannel commerce that helps address shopping cart abandonment.

O2O Commerce aims to recapture the lost revenue from showrooming. By providing online consumers with incentives for purchasing at a tangible location, retailers are experiencing the power of O2O and seeing their profits recover.

Innovative startups like RainCheck enable O2O commerce and address shopping cart abandonment through use of beacon and location based technologies.

Strategy&’s analysis for the Global Omnichannel Retail Index shows that most markets already provide the necessary technological infrastructure, and that a majority of consumers are excited about the benefits of a mixed online and offline retailing environment.

However, after the necessary infrastructure is in place, the biggest roadblock for omnichannel adoption lies in the readiness of retailers, in their focus on the customer experience and their willingness to invest in the technology needed to drive the strategy.

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