Omnichannel Commerce – Gateway to The Open Internet Sales

Gone are the days when customers were solely reliant on shop visits or logging into their desktops to do online shopping. Today’s customers are making purchases while in bed (43%), at work (23%), during their commute or even from the bathroom (20%), and almost at any hour of the day from their smartphones. Therefore, it is clear that for any retail brand especially in the eCommerce domain, growth lies in building an omnichannel eCommerce presence.

What is Omnichannel eCommerce?

Omnichannel retail is an integrated sales approach that puts customers first. Unlike the conventional practice of using marketing tactics to draw customers to a specific website, omnichannel retail integrates websites, smartphone apps, social commerce, eCommerce marketplaces, and even physical retail outlets to reach customers wherever they are whenever they need the type of products and services that the brands offer. In omnichannel retail, the different platforms don’t operate in silos, but everything gets seamlessly integrated to optimize the customer experience. Thus, building an effective omnichannel presence requires the elimination of the boundaries between different sales channels and allows customers to make the purchase through whichever touchpoint they are on.

Why should brands go for Omnichannel eCommerce?

It helps brands reach new customer segments – Customer preferences are rapidly changing and today, different categories of online shoppers have emerged. Despite the fluidity, there are a lot of customers who relish sticking to their preferred mode of shopping only. For instance, the millennials and Gen Z use smartphone apps to make purchases, and shopping through social media platforms like Instagram and even WhatsApp is gaining popularity among Gen Z. There are some who love to shop on eCommerce platforms as they offer massive varieties and price options, whereas others prefer brand websites as they are more concerned about the genuineness of the product than anything else. With the Omnichannel approach, brands can get all customers.

Seamless Purchase –

Omnichannel retail significantly reduces the risk of cart abandonment which was common in the era when shopping was done only through websites. Customers may add a product to the cart on a website and might want to purchase it hours later through the web app while commuting back home. Omnichannel retail helps convert such variable scenarios seamlessly. The customers get a hassle-free and consistent experience despite switching mediums. It also boosts customer loyalty.

Better sales –

The convenience of shopping through omnichannel eCommerce is helping brands acquire more customers at a faster clip from multiple sales channels. The customer being able to make a purchase when and where they see it opens up new revenue streams. Live commerce, social commerce, and eCommerce retail stores or brand online store are all new shopping avenues leading to more sales and enhancing brand visibility.

This speed and convenience for the customers are also helping the brands and retailers increase cart size. Thus, there is a great boost to the sales.

Future of Omnichannel eCommerce

The era of Social Commerce – India is right at the cusp of a social commerce boom. Tier 2, Tier 3, and beyond shoppers are the biggest adopters, and recommendation-based, suggestion-based purchases are major drivers for brands in these areas that house nearly 70% of India’s population. It is estimated that the social commerce market size is going to grow from $8,258.8 million in 2022 to over $143,583 million by 2028. Brands in the fashion, beauty, and personal care domains are getting a lot of growth through the social commerce space, and even electronics and gadgets are witnessing a rise in shopping volumes. With the constant increase in smartphone penetration and better internet speeds, this space is unmissable for any retail business today.

Live commerce

Live commerce, as the term indicates is a sales channel wherein live streams are held, and customers can purchase products in real time. It is different from teleshopping because as a customer you are not watching pre-recorded content and are not bugged to make a call. You can simply watch a live stream on a social media platform, eCommerce, or live-commerce platforms, engage with the brands, enjoy the entertainment, and click on ‘buy now’ to complete seamless purchases, just the way you do on an eCommerce marketplace app. It is a new shopping avenue that is being explored by large and small brands alike.

A RedSeer report estimates that live-commerce sales will grow up to $5 billion in India by 2025.

Brands don’t see Live commerce as just a sales channel, but also an excellent medium of customer engagement and influencer marketing. You may see a great product in a live stream, and even if you don’t buy it then and there, you might research and purchase it later through other eCommerce options.

SUGAR Cosmetics has already participated in such sessions on Myntra and Nykaa and got encouraging results. Going forward, the fashion segment is expected to achieve 60-70% live commerce growth, Beauty and personal care and other segments would make up for the remaining 30-40%. Visibility generation through such activities includes the launch of Hero MotoCorp’s Hero Xtreme 160R Stealth 2.0 bike and the session had a viewership of over 2.6 lakh. Several other Indian brands are also leveraging Live commerce sessions on eCommerce platforms.

Role of social media Influencers in social and live commerce

Social media influencers play a critical role in this arena. Influencers are people trusted by shoppers from all over the country, especially the Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. When they are integrated into live commerce or social commerce campaigns, users get a personalized and familiar experience which boosts chances of conversion. The influencers are content creators with whom regular social media users engage on a one-to-one basis. Most of them conduct meetups, and live-streams to build engagement and trust among the audience. Thus, when these influencers recommend a product, those followers who are actively looking for such products are most likely to seriously consider the recommendations and make purchases. Influencer marketing is also highly instrumental in driving awareness. For instance, Amazon unveiled its live commerce section ‘Amazon Live’ by roping in over 150 popular content creators, and that generated a lot of buzz.

Conclusion

Omnichannel retail is the future of commerce as it will ensure seamless customer experience and comfort. It can help retailers find more consumers, reduce customer churn and operational costs, and improve profitability. For going omnichannel brands need to understand the market, and keep up with pricing, availability, and other market trends for their own products vs competition. The digital commerce intelligence Solution like mScanIt can help brands understand the needs of the market and potential customers across digital commerce marketplaces and omnichannel commerce.

Once a brand masters the omnichannel commerce framework and the traditional digital commerce landscape, all they need is the drive, vision, and efforts to reach new highs!

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