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Omnichannel Retailing 1
Omnichannel Retailing: A New Trend in Retail
Thomas Edison State College
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Selling to consumers has evolved from door-to-door, to catalog, to retail sales. Recently,
e-commerce has been added for the purpose of reaching the consumer through a new venue. Omnichannel retailing is the next big trend in the industry. By employing omnichannel retailing, a business can merge physical stores, online content and mobile devices into one experience (Palmer, 2014). It will be a game changer for the industry and essentially brings together: physical stores, web sites, computers, social media, online catalogs, gaming consoles, kiosks and mobile technology under one umbrella and redefines both how a consumer interacts while shopping and how they will be reached.
Omnichannel retailing does not exclude a bricks and mortar store like traditional e- commerce nor does it consider it a showroom where the customer goes to preview the product prior to purchase. A bricks and mortar store is one of the tools that is used for marketing and becomes stronger when supplemented with online content and mobile devices. For the organization and its supply chain members it means erasing the line between offline and online and providing an experience to help match the consumer with a product. It also means that a business must embrace data, analytics and mobile, and integrate them into its commerce (Green, 2014).
Culturally, omnichannel retailing is more intrusive for the consumer, but it has the ability to provide for a simpler and better informed shopping experience. Regalado reports that Macy’s places 24 different tracking cookies on a consumer’s web browser, and their mobile app download is capable of finding the closest store and scanning barcodes for prices. Along these lines, smartphones can be used to track movement throughout the store (Brynjolfsson, Hu and Rahman, 2013).
Omnidirectional retailing will help retailers increase returns by helping the consumer find a product, allowing them to research reviews and even providing them coupons or incentives as they near a product (Regalado, 2013). By embracing technology retailers can gain a competitive advantage at the same time they are helping the consumer.
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Brynjolfsson, E., Hu, Y. J., & Rahman, M. S. (2013, Summer). Competing in the Age of Omnichannel Retailing. MIT Sloan Management Review. Retrieved November 21, 2014, from http://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/competing-in-the-age-of-omnichannel-retailing/
Green, J. (2014, January 27). Why and How Brands Must Go Omni-Channel in 2014. Marketing Lands. Retrieved November 22, 2014, from http://marketingland.com/why-brands- should-go-omni-channel-in-2014-70970
Palmer, M. (2014, November 14). Competition in retail space heats up. Financial Times. Retrieved November 21, 2014, from http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/32731e0c-634b- 11e4-8a63-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3KTEWYSem
Regalado, A. (2013, November 14). Beyond the Checkout Cart. MIT Technology Review. Retrieved November 21, 2014 from http://www.technologyreview.com/news/520786/its- all-e-commerce-now/