All things to all people: Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies

Encouraging omnichannel adoption eCommerce platform solutions provider eStar is an omnichannel specialist which works with some of the biggest retailers in New Zealand. Its clients include Country Road, Briscoe Group and Rodd & Gunn. It has experience in implementing click and collect models for retailers, and foresees major growth in this area. Chief executive Andrew Buxton tells us more.

A January report from global software solutions provider CitiXsys accused Australasian retailers of falling behind worldwide standards in omnichannel service. Do you think that’s true?

We think some Australasian retailers are mainly still operating their business models in a multi-channel environment. Many still think or behave like their physical store channel is separate from their digital channels, but providing consumers a seamless customer journey across channels is the goal. Consumers are on a journey to purchase, and that journey is getting longer. In 2013, Google conducted a study and found on average consumers referenced 12 sources of information online before buying online or in store. In 2010, the average was five. The vast majority of consumers visit the flagship store as part of their path to purchase, whether that's instore or online. With the increasing awareness and focus that retailers have put on delivering the ‘omnichannel’ promise over the last few years, eStar is starting to see early adoption initiatives, tried and tested, begin to settle into mature solutions. In Australasia, click and collect is growing. For example, Harvey Norman claim click and  collect is over 50 percent of online, and when The Warehouse launched click and collect two years ago, it went to 10 percent in the first week, and is now over 30 percent of online sales.

What would you advise a retailer looking to incorporate more omnichannel services into their site? Where should they start?

Talk to eStar! A 2015 study by IDC found that a shopper who buys a retailer’s products both instore and online has a 30 per cent higher lifetime value for the retailer than those using only one channel. The more successful retailers understand technology needs to be iterative in nature. There is no such thing as a one-off build. You must partner with an ecommerce solution partner who shares the same agile development philosophy and can continually deliver and integrate solutions to deliver your brand success.

First published in NZ Retail June/July Edition 2016.

More information can be found here: NZ Retail June July Ominchannel Feature

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