Conversations & Insights June 22, 2015

Omnichannel Focus 2015: Easier, Not Faster Delivery

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Even though many brands have implemented tactics to drive consumers to the store or complete a purchase online, implementation of a multi-channel strategy has been relatively limited.

Only 29% of Specialty Retail brands in our index have actually integrated in store inventory into product pages and only 4% have integrated a reserve online, pick up in store functionality.

We expect brands to further develop this approach with even more sophisticated features. Home Depot, for example, not only integrates in-store inventory of the over 40K SKUs they have, they also provide the exact aisle and shelf location of the item for each store.

New evolutions could also look similar to Harvey Nichol’s click and try program. Through this service you can not only reserve product online for pick up in store, but a style advisor simultaneously curates complementary items for you to try on. Think of this as the omnichannel version of “you might like” upselling that we see online.

Differentiating by delivery continues to be a key priority for brands in executing an omnichannel strategy. Whether Sephora’s Flash program or UberRush’s same day delivery, retailers are constantly competing with Amazon on the last mile solution and they are, yet again, changing the delivery game.

Their latest partnership with Audi and DHL, allows for direct to car package drop off. The system, called Audi Connect Easy Delivery, will allow some Audi owners in Munich to request delivery of their Amazon prime packages directly the trunk of their cars - A space that customers feel is convenient, secure and discreet.

It’s important to remember though that while the buzz around delivery has been about speed, customers are typically not willing to pay more for expedited shipping. Instead the focus is around convenience. Walmart is someone tackling this idea and provides the ability to choose your specific delivery time in 2 hour increments.

The question to ask yourself is not, how do I deliver this faster? But how do I make the delivery process easier for my customer?

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