Written by Dr. Simon Collister, Director at Human Understanding Lab, UNLIMITED in WARC
AS E-COMMERCE TAKES THE DRIVER’S SEAT, RETAILERS ARE SEARCHING FOR NEW WAYS TO STREAMLINE THE OFFLINE/ONLINE TRANSITION.
Retailers increasingly seek to connect the online and offline experience, by creating a seamlessly connected customer journey. But the customer journey is rife with contradictions and unpredictability: while innovative new tools which blur the lines between online and offline are worth pursuing, retailers should not take a determinist view in predicting the ways customers will interact with these tools. Challenges with data ownership, infrastructure, and customer behaviour are all major points for retailers to consider.
WHY IT MATTERS
The continuing growth of e-commerce engenders new ways of thinking about omnichannel connectedness and how to reach customers both on and offline.
The pursuit of connected customer journeys creates a number of challenges for retailers, such as who owns customer data and how to navigate the physical retail environment in creative ways.
Some retailers are adopting QR codes and augmented reality (AR) to provide in-store navigation and product information. But a truly connected online/offline blur requires more out-of-the-box thinking. Innovative in-store technology – such as smart mirrors to detect physical products in clothing stores – is changing the way we think about these connected journeys.
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