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Multi-Channel E-Commerce is Evolving July 7th, 2021

Multi-Channel E-Commerce is Evolving

The state of E-Commerce has changed intensely and not only because of the effects of COVID-19. This year, unlike any other, online e-commerce has been able to co-exist alongside physical, Brick + Mortar capabilities and not rob from either experience too much at all. Digital platforms and offline stores are no longer competitors, but rather allies who are complementing each other’s offerings. It’s fair that e-commerce presents clear advantages in the field, such as the ability to use mobile payments, pick out the perfect shoe size, check the availability within a specific radius, and so much more, physical stores still present a personalized touch that online services can’t offer.

Even though e-commerce offers present so many chances for unmatched convenience, many shoppers strive for any opportunity to physically touch and feel for products, rather than viewing them from behind a digital screen. This is where cross-channel optimization can come in and change up the whole game. In today’s world, it’s essential for a brand’s website to be designed and optimized in a way where cross-continuity can be embraced, providing a sense of modern flexibility that shoppers strive for. A consumer could do this best, by completing research online, then going into the brick and mortar stores to finalize the transaction. In the trying pandemic times, many retailers are promoting the usage of e-commerce strategies such as BOPIS, curbside pickup, Buy Now, Pay Later, and so many more methods to keep consumers safe while shopping.

Consumers are readily adopting additional shopping behaviors to their buying journey now, more than ever. Many find it beneficial to receive an updated measure of companies’ inventory statistics, so they know whether or not it would be a good time to buy. If a store’s inventory is accurately reflected to their online environment, then a shopper could just as easily log on to check the availability of a certain shoe size, before leaving their home to go pick it up in-store, and this can all be done with knowing ease, taking the guessing game out of the equation.

Perfecting successful shipping practices is also a feature that many retailers strive to perfect to appease their consumer base. It’s been found that more than 60% of consumers in the younger age group are more likely to complete an online purchase if they are aware that the same delivery is offered. Many retailers have begun to adopt free shipping and even same-day delivery options to entice consumers to interact with their mobile websites more. This engaging retail behavior is working to provide shoppers with delivery estimates, streamline order fulfillment processes, and invite consumers to participate in on-site tracking for their package, so they can monitor exactly where their parcel happens to be in its journey.

As this year progresses forward and we find ourselves picking up the pieces from the year prior, it’s likely this multi-channel e-commerce perspective will stick around for quite some time. With that being said, there’s no point in trying to choose between one or the other, so it’s best to embrace the change with open arms to integrate online and offline experiences as one main offering.

SAMANTHA KALANY

Samantha is BlueStar's Digital Media Specialist, and the primary contributing writer for VartechNation. Previously, she has worked as a Public Relations Associate and a Social Media Manager.

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