Forget digital vs physical retail. It’s all about omnichannel

Economies are reopening and tourism is resuming. That gives consumers the green light to head back to the high street. But we’re getting mixed messages.

On one hand, there’s a survey by Qubit that reveals 85.9% of consumers in the UK and US plan to continue shopping the same way or more online.

On the other, there’s evidence that the high street still has a special place in many consumers’ hearts. According to the Retail Unlocked report by Barclays, 40% of UK customers are planning to step up their in-store shopping over the next 12 months, while 41% confirm it remains their favourite way to shop.

Shopper behaviour has clearly changed as a result of the Covid pandemic – but the focus should perhaps move away from whether consumers favour physical or digital retail. Instead, retailers need to recognise that what customers really want is a seamless omnichannel experience.

The modern shopper wants it all. They want the convenience of ecommerce (accessible stock information and home delivery). But they also don’t want to miss out on the social aspect of high streets – not to mention the ability to try before you buy.

And while online shopping is here to stay (the Qubit study showed that 27.7% of UK shoppers plan to shop more online this Christmas than last), ecommerce cannot tick all the boxes. Almost nine in ten (87.6%) customers say that they feel overwhelmed by the amount of choice they have when shopping online.

Speaking about the findings, Tracey Ryan O’Connor, chief revenue officer at Qubit said: “To fully leverage the growth in ecommerce, retailers must factor in how consumers shop to meet customer expectations on the experiences they deliver, ensuring they’re aligned with current shopping trends.”

If you are looking for ways to create a more seamless omnichannel customer experience, Delta can help. Get in touch with the team today: hello@thedeltagroup.co.uk.