Multichannel continues to take the retail world by storm. Multichannel retail blurs the lines between physical and virtual shopping. This is often referred to as “retail fusion”. Consumers don’t care about where or how they buy, but rather what’s cheapest and most convenient for them. Consumers’ shopping behaviors are rapidly adapting to the constant flow of technology advances – how can retailers possibly keep up? Amazon is leading the pack once again with their new “anticipatory shipping” tool. Amazon plans to ship a customer’s order to them before they even order it! They believe that this technique will cut delivery time and discourage consumers from visiting physical stores. Amazon isn’t the only one to have realized this. Hardeep Singh Garewal, President of European Operations at ITC Infotech, understands the importance of integration in retail perfectly when he says, “To stay current, retail businesses need an integrated approach combining physical stores, mobile devices, and desktop computers to create a seamless customer experience in a multichannel environment.” He also notes that, “Retailers need to be equipped to handle an abundance of data from overlapping sources such as mobile, social, in-store and ecommerce sites and then leverage this data for enhancing their customers’ shopping experience.”
When you get down to it, retail fusion really translates to this: the customer shopping experience has to be fast and it has to be seamless. Retail technology is developing expeditiously to compensate for accelerating customer preferences. If the purchase experience isn’t seamless across channels, retailers will quickly lose revenue, brand value, and customer loyalty to hungry competitors who have made the necessary investments. Consult with 360pi and find out if you’re doing everything within your power to make your customer’s purchase experience seamless.