“Omnichannel Is Dead” – 10 Trends Impacting Commerce in 2016

“Omnichannel Is Dead.” This is just one of ten key trends impacting commerce in 2016

All retail merchandisers know that the preparations for the 2016 holiday shopping season have already started. This is my 2015 holiday shopping round up for those that are already looking ahead, thinking about 2016 and beyond.

Omnichannel trends 2016

1. Omnichannel Is Dead

Just Ask Your Customer. Clients don’t think in terms of channels. Marc Rosen, the executive vice president and president of global e-commerce for Levi Strauss & Co., recently told an audience of retailers: “The word ‘omnichannel’ will go away. Consumers don’t know and don’t care about these concepts.” (Forbes) This will put in more need for a seamless customer experience, based on all interactions and transactions a customer does. Connecting The Dots between key information about customer, product, supplier and locations become the new currency  in the age of relationships.

2. Relevance

Information overload has raised the bar. Standing out from the crowd is of highest priority now.  Studies have shown that the typical social media user consumes 285 pieces of content daily, which equates to an eye-opening 54,000 words, and, for the truly active, as many as 1,000 clickable links. Any promotion must be relevant to the targeted persona. The industry is discussing the trend of commerce relevancy.   As we learned, Omnichannel is going away.

3. Deliver On Your Promises

There is nothing worse than breaking a promise, not only to kids, but also for any client. Defining and measuring supplier performance continues to be important. The need for a supplier 360 view has grown in retail, and aims to eradicate supplier related disruptions.

4. Email Promotions are Still the Number One Driver

Fusing creativity, accessibility, desirability and wearability, BCBGMAXAZRIA – the premier lifestyle collection for the dynamic woman –  occupies a unique position in the American fashion marketplace, offering sophisticated, confident designs that take consumers from day to night in style.

“When you have bad data, you don’t have as much control over the success of your marketing efforts,” said Tommy Lamb, manager of Ecommerce Marketing at BCBGMAXAZRIA. “Verifying my email contact lists with Email Verification Plus Hygiene keeps my sender reputation up high, so when I need to reach customers at critical times, like Cyber Monday, I have confidence in my data.”

5. Mobile Conversion

Revenue spend on mobile is growing. Forrester Research projects sales from consumers shopping on mobile phones will increase to $38 billion this year and sales from tablets will hit $76 billion, or about $114 billion in total in the US. Most Online Shopping Still Happens on PCs.  95% of smartphone users say they’ve searched for local information. 90% of those users take action within 24 hours. 61% of smartphone users called a business after searching. 59% visited a local business after searching. But conversions on mobile devices need to be improved. With better and more relevant information, brands and retailers can turn this into success.

6. Price Intelligence and Content Benchmarking

Price intelligence is a service that provides a daily digest of the products where a category manager’s attention is required. Vendors such aspriceintelligence.net (well known in Gemany), Clavis Insights (well established in CPG) and Indix (major player in North America) find every product online, collect offers on the market and give you repricing suggestions based on sales strategy configuration.

Three ways price intelligence adds value and content to your product information are:

  1. Every day, there is a vast quantity of products that are “overpriced” when compared to the relevant competition. Take action and adjust the price in order to increase sales
  2. Should this not be possible because of high purchasing prices and/or thin margins, organizations can use the competitive information, export the respective products’ pricing as Excel documents and then negotiate with suppliers or restructure the assortment if noprofitable business is possible.
  3. Identify products which are underpriced – this is pure profit potential, money left on the table. According to priceintelligence.net, on average, 10-15% of retailers’ assortment is priced lower than that of competitors.

7. Making the store visit an event

One luxury retailer I know is introducing about 1.7 million new SKUs every year. This trend intensifies during the Holiday shopping season where they focus even harder on making the store visit an even greater experience. Getting an appointment with Santa Claus is really hard. First come, first serve. But get a gift card you can spend in-store. With a wide assortment, it gets more challenging to find the right product in the huge store. You find this supported by digital devices of staff and displays. Also electronic shelf labels are ensuring the quality, saving costs for printed labels and improve speed of information delivery.

8. Alibaba and the Dominance of Global Market Places

Why did Alibaba’s Singles Day revenue double last year? One key factor is the availability of any products you can think of. Longtail strategies require a fast throughput of quality information. Halfway through the 24-hour online sales bonanza in China, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. had blown past last year’s total of 57.1 billion yuan ($9 billion) sold through its online channels Tmall and Taobao, reports InternetRetailer.com today. When will Amazon and Alibaba own 100% of online sales?

According to an elaborate research study conducted by the Ecommerce Foundation and Nyenrode Business University, Adobe, Informatica, Lengow and LiveWords, retailers from all over the world expect that global market places, such as Amazon and Alibaba, will own 39% of the global online retail market in 2020. This indicates that the influence of market places on retailers and brands continues to grow considerably, and will keep up the pace over the next few years.

9. Conversion with More Details: Show the product from many angles

One advantage brick-and-mortar stores have over ecommerce is that shoppers can hold the product.

Perhaps to compensate for this, many of the sites considered in this article include multiple product images — showing the item from many angles. It would seem it is a smart ecommerce merchandising practice to show off your products.

Consider, for example, the Costco website. This product detail page for a Jura Impressa C9 One Touch Coffee Center included many images, and even had links on some images to a more detailed image. Costco not only shows a picture of this coffee center, but it also includes links in the image pointing to additional images and product information. The Jura images were not limited to just the standard product image area, but rather additional product pictures were shown lower on the page as part of the written product description. The coffee center images appear in several sections of the page.

At Saks Fifth Avenue (Hudson Bay) you find catwalk videos, which they source from the luxury brands.

10. New Paradigm in the Digital Workplace

Data has changed from Ownership to Access. The role of everything “digital” has evolved in today’s workplace. Transforming retail organizations and readying them for the digital age can be a hard task indeed. But who will disrupt you from greenfield if you don’t allow them to revisit your business model and processes?

All jobs and their related tasks have become more data driven. Already in 2012, the Havard Business Review claimed data scientist as the sexiest job of the 21st century.

New product introductions in CPG or retail companies are becoming more democratic, highly collaborative and dependent on distributed processes. Furthermore, this is spreading across more roles and departments: category managers, product managers, merchandisers, marketers, ecommerce folks, and external contractors, translators, agencies and more. The collaboration of product introduction has been completely re-invented. User interfaces which are tailored to single tasks or list of tasks, make the right people do the right things.  For example if you have to approve five items to go to a new website promotion, or if you have to translation 10 new products from English to Spanish.

Do you agree or disagree? Let us discuss, on twitter @benrund or face to face at NRF BIG SHOW in NYC and…

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  • berndburkert

    “Omnichannel Is Dead” that’s nice click bait, indeed!

    The very first point already proves the urgent need for omnichannel transformation in the retail business. “Clients don’t think in terms of channels.” Yes Sir, exactly! This is why retailers need to overcome the traditional channels, the respective organisational silos and -processes. This is what omnichannel transformation is all about.

    Clearly the term ‘omnichannel’ will go away, once this goal is achieved. But this is just the normal run of things. We don’t translate CEO into ‘Chief Electrical Officer’ anymore, do we?

    Just my 0,02 €

    Regards, Bernd

    Full discloure: I’m working with a leading European business transformation consulting company

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