Due to the increasing popularity of ecommerce, more and more retailers choose to open a webshop next to their physical store. At the same time, there is also an increase of etailers opening a physical store. Today, physical stores and online stores are no longer seen as two separate channels. Online and offline intersect and a consistent shopping experience is important.
Nowadays there is an increased use of the omni-channel strategy. In this strategy, an organization provides many channels that are aligned with one another. In an omni-channel strategy the focus points are not so much the different channels, but it is rather the brand experience. For consumers, there is not a different experience between the different channels. The consumer is the focal point and he can determine himself which channel is best for what he wants.
Consumers spend an increasing proportion of their time online. Partly due to the advent of the smartphone, it is made easier for consumers to do research on a product before they buy it. The smartphone can be seen as a bridge between online and offline. Research shows that 4 out of 5 people use a smartphone while shopping. In an omni-channel strategy, it is important that the organization knows everything about the customer and that the consumer experience is the focal point. Consumers do not think in different channels, but see one company assuming that the experience is the same on every channel. By making the consumer journey personal, simple and accessible, the organization provides an optimal shopping experience. The consumer rather chooses an organization where an omni-channel strategy is applied, than an organization that still uses a multi-channel or cross-channel strategy.