Lauren Freedman, Digital Commerce 360’s industry expert on all things omnichannel, has covered ecommerce for two decades. And since COVID-19, she has led the charge here at Digital Commerce 360 in conducting real-world experiments using curbside and other omnichannel services at retailers. She also heads up all of our retailer and consumer surveys—many of which have been related to omnichannel and the coronavirus.
In short, she’s learned a thing or two about what consumers want these days when it comes to omnichannel, how retailers are (or aren’t) delivering on those desires and trends that will stick once the pandemic subsides.
Lauren will be presenting at the IMPACT ecommerce event in her session, Always Open: BOPIS & Curbside Insights: Omnichannel Matters Now More than Ever, which will take place from 10:35 a.m. to 11 a.m. CT on Nov. 12.
Below, Lauren explains in her own words what her session will entail.
IMPACT Ecommerce is a chance to riff on one of my favorite topics. I have been covering omnichannel and mystery shopping BOPIS for more than 20 years, but there has been no time like what we are experiencing now as a result of the pandemic. Thus, my session is very timely. Here’s a breakdown of what I’ve learned, and what I plan to cover on this increasingly important topic.
Omnichannel dominated ecommerce over the past six months during the pandemic and curbside took center stage. I’ll walk attendees through the points that stood out to me and how we got here.
- Initially, shoppers often gravitated to omnichannel to save money on shipping
- But now this may be their only option to get products
- Online shoppers are more comfortable with omnichannel solutions
- They have honed their skills and know the ins and outs of BOPIS and now curbside pickup
- Retailer investment in omnichannel is no longer a nice-to-have
- It has clearly proven to be essential for survival
- Omnichannel moved from a stopgap to a permanent solution
- While initially many retailers thought that curbside would help them stay afloat during the pandemic, customer adoption and current situations warrant keeping all omnichannel options after the crisis subsides
- In the past, only large, store-based retailers were focused on omnichannel
- Today every retailer with any physical presence has a chance to survive the pandemic through curbside solutions, including direct-to-consumer brands, small local mom-and-pops and store-based retailers with a limited physical presence
- For years, omnichannel was focused on BOPIS, but now curbside is the customer favorite
- The times dictated that curbside take the lead and there’s nothing stopping its growth post-pandemic
- The complexity of omnichannel became more apparent as retailers played catchup
- Inventory transparency is the foundation for omnichannel and difficult to get right from both a systems and user experience point-of-view
- Superior execution demands the right systems, employee training, store set-up and strong communication processes for both employees and customers.
The Digital Commerce 360 Omnichannel Shopper Timeline
A quick look at the timeline below will help attendees understand initial consumer perceptions and their impact on current behavior.
- 54% checked online for product availability at a nearby store
- 41% ordered online and picked up products in store
- 17% ordered online and used drive-up or curbside pickup at a store location
About five months into the pandemic, online shoppers are comfortable with omnichannel and have increased curbside behavior, according to a Digital Commerce 360/Bizrate Insights August 2020 Click Ship survey of 1,141 online shoppers. For example, 25% of online shoppers have purchased non-grocery items for in-store pickup.
As the pandemic continues, there are certain realities that we must all face:
- Omnichannel delivers impressive results for retailers
- Curbside is a fluid situation
- Small and large retailers are adopting curbside
- Retailers are wisely focusing on the integration of the omnichannel experience
Retailers have risen to the occasion launching curbside pickup en mass
The holidays are upon us and suggest even greater omnichannel adoption during the pandemic
- 53% of retailers anticipate that BOPIS or curbside pickups will increase significantly over the holidays, according to a Digital Commerce360 pre-holiday August/September 2020 survey of 118 retailers.
- 29% of online shoppers will place a BOPIS order over the holidays, according to a Digital Commerce 360/Bizrate Insights 2020 pre-holiday September 2020 survey of 1,000 online shoppers.
As we struggle amidst a world in a pandemic, many things are uncertain. However, I am confident of the following:
- Retailers have stepped up their omnichannel game
- Curbside will drive the omnichannel bottom line
- Large store-based retailers are poised to reap the spoils
- Yet, smaller retailers can still leverage omnichannel for survival
- Smooth omnichannel execution will ultimately reveal the holiday winners and losers
Check out our agenda to see the full list of speakers and topics.
Click here to complete your registration and receive your free pass to IMPACT Ecommerce.