Omnichannel is the way ahead, as consumer and retailer behaviour during the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that online and physical sales channels form a highly competitive single retail market, according to GlobalData research.
The research found that shopping habits in the US and Europe shifted dramatically because of disruption caused by the pandemic, driving rapid adoption and growth in buy online, pick up in-store services.
However, the findings reveal that transactions made through online channels (desktop and mobile point of transaction) did not exceed 30% of total retail sales at the peak of lockdown in any country covered by the study – and many of those sales were supported by physical stores, with click-and-collect retail sales soaring. The report also explores how buying behaviour has evolved since lockdowns have ended and reveal that the sales penetration of the online channel is falling as consumers return to stores and make greater use of fast-growing multichannel services.
Explaining why omnichannel is the way ahead, Neil Saunders, GlobalData’s lead retail analyst, said, “Despite claims that the growth of online shopping is leading to a ‘retail apocalypse,’ the reality is that many retailers across all sectors are thriving because they are innovating with multichannel to provide a convenient shopping experience for consumers. A very significant proportion of sales that are attributed to the online channel are, in fact, multichannel sales that rely on both stores and online for success. On average, one-third of online non-food purchases – where a customer actually transacts online – are in fact reliant on physical stores for product selection, pick-up or return.”
Saunders said the report also dispels the notion that retail can be neatly divided between online and offline shopping channels, but that consumers shop simultaneously across channels.
“The concept of separate channels has always been somewhat meaningless, but the pandemic is making it even more so. For any given purchase, shoppers are increasingly using a mix of channels and are swapping between them based on their needs. In the US, for example, stores are now supporting a greater proportion of online channel sales than they were at the start of the pandemic – mostly because retailers have quickly introduced things like curbside collection, leading to soaring online growth at big-box retailers,” Saunders added.
Across all countries, a majority of shoppers say that they will make greater use of multichannel services even as things return to normal. Meanwhile, a majority of retail executives are planning to invest more in the multichannel parts of their business, such as curbside collection and fulfilment from stores.
“The idea that there is a battle between online and physical retail is outdated. There is only one retail battlefield and the fight is between all the players in it – and those that have strong multichannel options with both an established store network and online presence now have the advantage,” Saunders concluded.
Words by Farimah Moeini, Snapchat Head of Industry – Retail and Travel TheJuly 5, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau
Snapchat has been betting big on Augmented Reality’s (AR) retail future consideringJune 22, 2021 | By Jibran Chouguley
Nando’s has revealed their revamped Sheikh Zayed Road outlet where newcomers and
UAE-based Al Maya Group announced that it will be boosting import of
UAE-based grocery retail chain, Grandiose has opened its first hypermarket in Abu
UAE-based Carrefour announced its theme and plans for Ramadan 2021. The brand
Locally owned supermarket Spinneys celebrates 60 years of doing business in the
UAE-based Carrefour will become the first retailer in the region to offer new levels
The Organic Farmers’ Market is back in Bay Avenue for its 12th
UAE-based Lulu Group recently inaugurated its first-ever all-female staff store in Jeddah,
Jones the Grocer, the gourmet grocer and cheese retailer launches the Jones
UAE-based Al Maya Supermarkets is hosting a two-week food festival at select
Locally-owned supermarket Spinneys has launched its ‘Power of Plants’ initiative in the
“The fashion industry will need to ‘slow down’ so that people can
E-commerce giant Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos has stepped down as CEO, handing
American clothing retailer, PVH has increased the number of active job advertisements
Increased vaccinations (47%) and continued protective and social distancing measures (28%) will
Extravagant, conceptual, great food and views are some of the ways that
By Mark Thomson, EMEA Director of Retail & Hospitality Solutions at Zebra
As the UK begins to return to normality, Father’s Day shoppers are
Abu Dhabi’s state investment company ADQ is in talks to invest about $500 million
UAE-based Majid Al Futtaim launched the first in a series of quarterly
Netflix has announced the launch of its e-commerce platform where show merchandise
Internet is one of the most powerful inventions of all time, the
Personal care and beauty industry is predicted to cross USD $58.3 billion