Even for those immersed in the digital world, it can be hard to keep up with the furious pace of change. Put your head down and focus on one project for a few months and when you come up for air the whole landscape has changed. Apple make watches now…?
If you work in ecommerce, one of the trends you need to be aware of is omni-commerce: it can be defined simply as placing the customer at the center of a fluid, multi-touch point experience.
Omni-commerce is about presenting customers with a seamless experience, no matter where they interact with the brand.
Companies that engage in omni-commerce connect an online shopping experience with the offline by allowing customers to head to a store to pick up items they bought online. And the offline world can connect to online: if a customer picks up something in store but is dissatisfied when they take it home they can return it and get credit for the company’s online store.
Omni-commerce is driven by major retail brands that are looking to use their offline presence to leverage their digital sales and fight back against online only stores.
What this means for the Arab World
Omni-commerce has enormous implications for the Arab World, especially markets such as KSA and the UAE that have strong offline retail cultures. The option to buy a product online and pick it up in store will be attractive to customers who see going to the mall as a social event.
This development also presents a major challenge to online only retailers. Companies like Jumbo that can offer the convenience of purchasing something online with the hand’s on assurance of in-store sales and pickup will gain an advantage over ecommerce shops.
Omni-commerce will present major opportunities for companies with dynamic marketing departments that can integrate messaging across online and offline. This will allow them to present a flexible, engaging message on any channel. Companies with lumbering, highly siloed marketing departments will struggle to adapt.