Today, more than ever, the digital shopping experience revolves around customer centricity. It’s time for new consumers, more aware and more digital. Even before the pandemic, online sales represented a driving force for traditional commerce – shoppers chose from mobile or computer and then perhaps bought in shop – yet today, as the effects of the pandemic have given an unparalleled acceleration to the digital dimension, the boundaries between ecommerce and traditional stores are destined to crumble.
Omnichannel, when physical and digital channels interact
Experts refer to unified ecommerce as a phenomenon that is not just a shift towards online, but rather an integration of two shopping experiences – online and physical – which are becoming increasingly interdependent. This is why for retailers the omnichannel strategy can no longer be postponed.
The new consumer shopping experience
Consumers want to activate in their shopping experience all the channels they have available and have learned to use. They want to be able to choose online and pick up in the shop, they want their return experience to be quick and easy, and they want the option to return what they have bought online in store. It’s not enough for a retailer to offer the option to buy in their eShop or in shop – if they want to win over the consumer today the options they offer have to talk to each other, they have to integrate into one efficient shopping experience: this is omnichannel shopping.
The future of retailers
Not just retailers, but omnichannel retailers: this is the future of the retail industry that also ensures the survival of traditional stores in the age of digital acceleration. And the development of an omnichannel strategy is even more important if we look at cross-border sales. While consumers continue to shop online within the borders of their own country, recent research suggests that the percentage of cross-border shoppers is rising, with almost 70% of digital shoppers doing so.
Omnichannel strategy for cross-border online sales
Today’s consumers discover a brand while on holiday abroad and want to continue buying that product when they return home. This represents both a growth opportunity for sales and a challenge for retailers. Cross-border sales can add more complexity in terms of omnichannel selling. Think of inventory management, delivery management or in-store returns. When considering an international omnichannel solution it is important that the retailer considers – for example – how to receive the product when it is returned to the shop, and above all that its omnichannel strategy covers what will happen after the goods are returned.
In short, omnichannel is a great opportunity for growth in cross-border sales, but it brings with it a number of complexities that retailers need to be aware of when they decide to open up the boundaries of their business. In this sense, partners specialised in cross-border sales are the right ally to internationalise sales by simplifying the load for retailers while offering the customer a smooth and intuitive shopping experience.