Trade is becoming increasingly networked. Omnichannel services also benefit from this. As the EHI study “Connected Retail 2022” shows, retailers will focus on faster delivery speeds and digital touchpoints in the future. “The top trends in retail will include live shopping, quick delivery and virtual commerce over the next five years. Retail is increasingly relying on virtual experiences,” says Lars Hofacker, Head of E-Commerce Research.
State of development of omnichannel services
According to decision-makers from German-speaking retailers, the greatest relevance among omnichannel services is the availability display of stationary stocks in the online shop. 94.5 percent already have these on offer or in planning. The in-store order service is also important to the respondents – an order in the store and subsequent home delivery. 85.6 percent of respondents currently offer or plan to offer this service. This is followed by the Click & Collect service with inpatient payment (79.1 percent). A fifth of the respondents are planning a video consultation in the branch.
Nevertheless, trading companies continue to encounter obstacles in the implementation and optimization of omnichannel services. 70.4 percent see IT as the biggest challenge, after all, a smoothly functioning IT infrastructure is the basic prerequisite for a good omnichannel service. The second major task is associated with the shortage of skilled workers, a good half (49.6 percent) call human resources challenging. For 43.5 percent, logistics can still be optimized in terms of omnichannel services.
Inventory management predominantly in real time
The topicality of the inventory management is of great importance for the optimal shopping experience of customers. The majority of the surveyed dealers display their stock in real time – whether online or offline. In the online stock, 71.3 percent refer to real-time data. 63.1 percent state that they bundle their cross-channel stocks in real time in one system. 60.2 percent update their store inventory in real time. Here, the value of the daily inventory is highest at 33 percent.
The study is now available on our website and free of charge for EHI members. A detailed presentation of the study will take place on the 8th. June 2022 as part of the EHI session “Connected Retail.” The EHI will host the session on virtual commerce on the 24th. August 2022.
For this year’s study, decision-makers in German-speaking retail were surveyed online in March 2022. The results were evaluated anonymously. Of the participants, almost half of the management or top management are assigned. 85 percent work for a dealer with stationary roots. The trading companies of the surveyed decision-makers belong to a wide variety of industries, so that the sample reflects the diversity of trade. More than a third of the participants state that their trading company generates more than one billion euros in sales (per completed financial year, across all channels).