Definition: denoting or relating to a type of retail that integrates the different methods of shopping available to consumers (e.g., online, in a physical store, or by phone)
See also: the biggest challenge in e-commerce and retail today
By all counts, conquering the challenges of the omnichannel approach is the chief goal of retailers and e-commerce giants today. With shoppers spanning all demographics, and increasingly buying online, retailers are being pressured to blend technology, customer service, fulfillment and delivery into a seamless experience. Sounds easy, right?
Studies show that 80% of shoppers have used a mobile phone while they’re standing inside of a physical store to either look up product reviews, compare prices or find alternative store locations. Retailers aligning their messaging, brand and products across all platforms will be more successful than those that keep inventories and experiences siloed.
Some companies have made major strides with initiatives that set them apart, utilizing the best and latest technology to reach customers. Outdoor retailer REI allows customers to order online and pick up in store, check inventory and read reviews. Beauty retailer Sephora takes experiential shopping to the next level by letting users virtually try on products using digital software, as well as allowing customers to use store-owned tablets to access their online accounts to see past purchases.
With retailers closing doors and spaces – from big boxes to neighborhood locations – adaptive reuse and redevelopment opportunities are stronger than ever. In Ft. Worth, Texas, a 95,000-square-foot former indoor gun range and retailer was recently purchased by technology company Weby Corp, an e-commerce retailer that is expanding its physical footprint and adding warehouse facilities.
Watch what expert Geoffrey Millerd, vice chairman with Newmark Knight Frank, said about the redevelopment of retail and the explosion of omnichannel retailing in this video produced by NAIOP.
Kathryn Hamilton, CAE, is Vice President for Marketing and Communications at NAIOP Corporate.