Should companies invest in Omnichannel?

The use of the internet with smartphones and tablets has been rising all over the world thanks to lower prices of devices and the implementation of connected services in public and private organizations. According to statistics, in 2025 more than 72% of the world population will use a smartphone to access the internet, creating potential consumers for brands. As a result, more companies invest in new sales channels through the internet to increase their revenue.

Omnichannel represents a combination of multiple sales channels providing customers with an integrated shopping experience within the same company to increase overall sales. The most common channels are websites, physical stores, and mobile applications. This strategy allows brands to increase interaction with consumers and create an increase in global sales.

Companies need to acknowledge a new segment: Generation Z, representing people from 18 to 21 years of age. This generation shows a surprising comfort with the use of e-commerce by spending important parts of their discretionary income on new platforms. In the fashion industry, this generation is not showing any concern about not trying products before buying them. On the other hand, they value more the lifestyle seen on social media (influencers, marketing campaigns…) as well as the ability to buy with a fast and easy process the items.

The first limitation of online shopping is that customers are not able to try an item before buying it. Even if it is not a problem for Generation Z, it is definitely one for Millennials, Generation X as well as the Baby Boomers. Moreover, when buying high-end items, customers still like to visit stores to get an experience that they can’t have online.

Furthermore, a common mistake made by companies is to expand the number of channels before offering quality customer services in the main one. However, quality service is known to be an efficient way to increase and maintain the revenue of companies. The size of investment made for Omnichannel development depends on the company’s industry, the brand’s image as well as the long-term corporate strategy. 

Some companies prefer to focus on the classic brick & mortar retail experience to improve and innovate the in-store experience to provide a competitive service. This strategy focuses more on client retention and the creation of loyal customers. Few examples of successful companies following this strategic model: Best Buy, Walmart.

Other companies are looking to expand their sales through a maximum of channels using an unfocused approach even if it means losing quality in the service. This strategy prioritizes the generation of new customers. Some examples of successful companies following this strategic model: Sephora, Disney (Disney’s Magic Band), Virgin Atlantic.

The omnichannel model is definitely something that brands should invest in to ensure a sales increase in the long-term and to stay in the loop of global business trends. However, since the quality of service is one of the most important aspects in numerous industries, the investments made should take into consideration the targeted segments and competitors’ strategy. Since a lot of companies evolve in a very competitive market, it is necessary to differentiate through quality before looking to expand sale channels. 

At AQ, we know how to evaluate the omnichannel performance of a company and can help improve it by giving specific insights. We have experience in analyzing the quality of customer service and experience through particular retail channels from various industries.