LONDON: Omnichannel is already yesterday's story and retailers now need to think in terms of 'total retail', bringing together a strong central brand supported by a consistent customer experience and a genuinely integrated back office.
The rapid evolution of shopper behaviour is addressed in Warc's Toolkit 2015, a guide to six major marketing trends for the year ahead, produced in association with Deloitte. This highlights the trends – from the rise of click-and-collect to "boomerooming" – that are making the shopper journey ever more complex.
The omnichannel strategy has been largely about a focus on logistics and delivery mechanisms to ensure the same products are available both online and off line. But the total retail concept moves beyond that to offer a truly unified approach.
Only a couple of years ago retailers were worried about showrooming, where people checked products out in-store before buying them cheaper online. Then came webrooming, where the reverse procedure took place.
Consumers are now as likely to be "boomerooming" – researching online, then visiting a physical store to touch and check out a product, before going back online to purchase it at the lowest price. And quite possibly returning to a store to collect it.
The nuanced relationship between digital and physical is further illustrated by online brands opening offline stores to meet that need to offer an experiential presence, while bricks-and-mortar stores are experimenting with beacon technology and location-based marketing.
The path to purchase of digitally enabled consumers is far from linear, according to Tom Jefferies, Senior Manager, Customer Advisory Practice, Deloitte Digital. "Businesses should dramatically change the way they think, measure, and invest in order to integrate retail and provide a frictionless 'total retail' experience," he advises.
That means "new, more agile, operating models in which ideas and approaches can fail fast or be scaled quickly, proving their business worth as they go".
A fundamental part of any total retail strategy, he says, will be establishing the processes, people and technology needed to make this possible.
Data sourced from Warc