The Post-COVID Retail Revolution: Embracing Omnichannel Shopping

As we begin entering a post-pandemic world, the way consumers are shopping is again starting to shift. At first, consumers turned their attention to shopping online as stores worldwide shuttered their doors at the beginning of the pandemic. Then, we saw shoppers return to stores and shopping malls as the world began to slowly open up again. Now, our mixed pandemic shopping habits are actually what will be carrying us through the future of the retail experience.

In 2023, brands that want to succeed need to be able to capture customers in all the ways they shop: online, in stores, and on social media. Not only that, but they need to tailor each avenue to create a totally seamless omnichannel shopping experience.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the consumer habits shaping the growing demand for an omnichannel experience in 2023 and beyond. Additionally, we’ll also look at how e-commerce tech companies like Cymbio are helping brands refocus their efforts and adopt a truly omnichannel strategy.

Post-Covid Shopping Behavior: What You Need to Know

The increased demand for omnichannel shopping didn’t come out of nowhere. There were a number of shopping behaviors influenced by the pandemic that caused shoppers to seek a more mixed shopping experience that meets their needs. Let’s take a look at some of the post-Covid trends and behaviors that influenced how and where people shopped.

Customers are prioritizing e-commerce over brick-and-mortar

Many brick-and-mortar stores are struggling, especially those that don’t keep up with consumer demand for online shopping. Bed, Bath, & Beyond is a prime example of this. The company filed for bankruptcy, in large part because it didn’t adopt online shopping quickly enough. Physical stores that want to succeed need to adopt practices like click-and-collect options for online purchases, such as Best Buy. 

Shoppers want a hybrid experience

Consumers don’t want to go back to the days of closed shops and malls, but the convenience of online shopping and quick delivery is something that they want to keep. According to a Bazaarvoice report on the state of omnichannel in retail, 66% of shoppers actually prefer a hybrid experience of shopping online and in-store. This might mean shopping for items in stores and then purchasing them online, or researching products on a retailer’s website on a mobile device while shopping in stores. Whatever the case, shoppers want the luxury of choosing how, where, and when to shop.

Consumers are increasingly looking for authenticity and personalization

Shoppers don’t want a one-and-done shopping experience, in fact, they’re looking for the opposite. Today’s post-Covid consumers want brands and retailers to offer authentic shopping experiences that are tailored to their needs and preferences. According to a report, 83% of shoppers think retailers need to offer more authentic experiences. User-generated content is a popular way of accomplishing this. Content such as user-generated photos, videos, and reviews, can drastically influence shopper behavior. This behavior has only grown since the pandemic, likely because people, especially Millennials and Gen Z, spent so much time online. 56% of consumers said they were more influenced by content on social media to make a purchase than before the pandemic.

The Benefits of Going Omnichannel for Brands Looking to Grow

While there are more consumer behaviors that have shifted since the pandemic, they all point to one conclusion: consumers want to shop both in stores, online, and on platforms like social media and marketplaces. For some sellers, it can seem overwhelming to be everywhere at once, but focusing only on one platform can end up hurting your brand. There are many benefits of adopting an omnichannel strategy that can help your brand thrive during the current period of financial and economic uncertainty.

Increased reach

Omnichannel strategies help brands target customers on multiple channels: social media, websites, stores, apps, marketplaces, and more. This allows sellers to reach wider audiences than they would with traditional marketing efforts that target one platform at a time.

Better engagement

You’re much more likely to create a more engaging shopping experience on multiple channels. By working on fostering a community online and in-person, you can foster a better online dialogue and cohesive campaigns to draw customers in.

Lower costs

Campaigns can, and should, be unified across different platforms for a successful omnichannel strategy. That means the tone, style, and even offerings or promos in your campaign should be carried through all platforms you sell on, resulting in a decrease in costs since you don’t need different budgets to create unique campaigns for in-store and online.

Improved customer insights

Omnichannel strategies provide brands with valuable insights into customer preferences and behavior by creating multiple touchpoints to assess how they shop. Understanding where certain customers prefer to shop or what platforms are more engaging for them allows brands to create more effective marketing strategies.

Create a Strong Omnichannel Strategy with Cymbio

Building your own successful omnichannel strategy can be a challenge. A good omnichannel strategy requires unified marketing across all platforms. In order to achieve that, you need to first have a well-developed understanding of your customer’s behaviors and preferences along with the ability to track and measure interactions on multiple channels. For smaller businesses or those with limited resources, it can be tricky to achieve this on your own.

Many businesses turn to third-party tools to help them track and monitor interactions or manage e-commerce activity on different channels. Cymbio is a great example of a solution that works for brands of all sizes to help them sell items on multiple platforms while still retaining a unified overview of performance and analytics. With Cymbio, you can:

  • Get regular reports on how sales are performing, helping brands understand how marketing strategies work for each platform as well as customer shopping behavior on different channels such as marketplaces, retailers, and social media
  • Grow your omnichannel strategy without increasing resources, workforce, or your budget, providing brands with a reliable solution scalable to their individual needs
  • Put automation in place to help streamline order fulfillment as well as workflows between different sales channels for a cohesive customer experience

Post-covid Customer Behavior and Omnichannel: Key Takeaways

The way customers shop will continue to evolve. Shopping behavior will always be influenced by current trends and global events, whether that’s a pandemic, an economic downturn, inflation, or the rise of social commerce. The only way for brands to prepare themselves and remain competitive in the market is to constantly adapt to different trends. An omnichannel strategy helps you do just that by allowing your business to remain flexible and diversified while always unified.

With Cymbio, brands can remove the technological roadblocks involved in the process of creating an omnichannel shopping experience for customers. Sell on different platforms, sync your inventory between them, and gather valuable reports and insights to inform key business decisions all without disrupting your existing e-commerce workflow. 

 

Chat with one of our retail experts to see how Cymbio can help your brand grow its omnichannel presence

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