eCommerce platform provider Kooomo analyses what’s next for retail
Following an unprecedented year of uncertainty, which saw the retail landscape turned on its head, the year ahead will see retailers continue to focus on eCommerce as a leading platform, but also apply attention to establishing a truly omnichannel offering. This is according to leading eCommerce platform provider Kooomo which outlines that in order for retailers to entice customers back in store, they will need to focus on their omnichannel offering.
Ciaran Bollard, CEO of Kooomo outlines the trends that dominated since the pandemic hit last year: “The past year has seen retailers’ digital transformation projects sped up by up to 10 years. Investments have been made in eCommerce platforms, in go to market strategies such as implementing direct to consumer websites and in technologies to support new strategies, such as augmented reality and personalisation.
“We saw many of our customers pivoting on the products they offered to customers. For example, clothing retailers began producing and selling more casualwear, cosmetic retailers began producing hand sanitiser, and we even had some customers turn their attention away from their line of business to produce face masks amidst the shortage that was experienced early on in the pandemic.”
But as retailers prepare to open their doors again from 12th April in England and later in the year elsewhere, Ciaran outlines that more will be need to done to encourage shoppers back into physical stores. “While there will be an element of people craving physical experiences, such as going into their favourite store, retailers will also have to contend with the fact that people have become accustomed to online retail now and many will continue shopping in this way. While the fight between bricks and mortar and online has been around for years, retailers that want to differentiate themselves will be those truly offering an omnichannel experience.”
Implementing click and collect was one of the quickest measures used by retailers to deal with the pandemic. In 2018, an average of 52% of online stores had omnichannel capabilities. Ciaran says, “this trend will not only continue, but will broaden into full omnichannel strategies by businesses of all sizes. This means synchronisation of stock, real-time inventory updates, online and offline loyalty point collection and redemption, unified customer service channels - the list goes on.
“From speaking with our customers over the past few months about plans for the year ahead, it’s clear that this omnichannel strategy will be key to ensuring future success. What else stood out to us is that despite the fact most retailers have invested in their eCommerce platform over the past year to cope with changes to consumer behaviour, most intend to continue this investment and continue on an accelerated trajectory of their pre-Covid eCommerce plans.”
Ciaran concludes, “The past year highlighted the importance of agility to retailers, and being able to rapidly pivot operations to cope with unforeseen circumstances. Most retailers were able to adapt well, but now is the time for retailers to focus on what’s next, ensure their eCommerce platform continues to remain competitive and ensure they have a truly omnichannel offering.”
For further details on how one of Kooomo’s client, Kaliedy achieved online success and launched a digital-first brand during the pandemic, watch the recent webinar between Ben Ward, Head of Digital at Kaliedy and James Foran, Head of Client Services at Kooomo here.
Kooomo is Europe’s leading eCommerce platform for expanding businesses. With over two decades of eCommerce experience, Kooomo delivers solutions to medium and large enterprise customers that are quick to market, affordable and international, helping clients achieve maximum global digital sales while powering their online stores from end to end.
Headquartered in Dublin, and with offices across Europe, Kooomo simplifies online retail by connecting sales channels, including online, in-store and via marketplaces to create the best possible experience for both its clients and their customers. This, combined with a powerful built-in CMS that connects content and commerce, means that retailers and brands can provide customers with a dynamic, personalised shopping experience. Driven by merchant demand, the Kooomo platform delivers a 360-degree digital commerce solution which is integrated with an eco-system of over 200 partners.
Kooomo is trusted by world-renowned brands such as Morrisons, Umbro, SMEG, Kraft Heinz, Blauer USA, MotoGP, Avoca, Butlers chocolates amongst many others. For further information, visit: www.kooomo.com