The right foundations changes everything
The Digital Renaissance

AI in Omnichannel and Other Retail Trends

In a world transitioning to meet the demands of digital expansion and transformation, retailers are forced to adapt.

Online retail purchases already take up about 16% of the market and are predicted to grow to 95% by 2040 . Which means retailers stuck in one channel (e.g., brick and mortar only) have to expand, and quickly. And it’s a win as, compared to retailers with a single channel, omnichannel shoppers are 23% more likely to visit their favorite stores, making them more loyal consumers.

It’s time to invest in an omnichannel commerce solution that streamlines in-store, online, call center, and digital shopping experiences. Let’s dive into the latest omnichannel retail trends.

Omnichannel shoppers drive greater value

It nearly goes without saying that the more channels a customer uses — the customer who shops in person, uses the website, the call center, social, and whatever comes next — the more valuable they are to a business. And the numbers are in.

Consumers who use multiple channels have a higher AOV (average order value) and spend 9% more time in the store when compared to single-channel shoppers. Additionally, studies show that 60% of shoppers report using their smartphones while in-store to redeem coupons, check inventory, and compare pricing. I.e., modern shoppers often do their research in real-time and on-site.

AI-powered chatbots

With the influx of new AI tools such as ChatGPT (part of the Microsoft ecosystem), it’s clear that we will see more AI assistance to help provide 24/7, real-time answers in the channel of choice: SMS, web portals, telephony, and more.

Yes, it’s about the customer experience as chatbots help shoppers self-serve, get what they need faster, and get connected to more relevant products and services. But it’s also about the employee experience as leveraging AI-fueled chatbots reduce the repetitive tasks once assigned to staff empowers said staff to work on more diverse tasks and strategic projects.

Retail self-service

Most modern consumers know exactly how to self-serve online. With little to no human interaction, people will make purchases with an AOV in the thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars.

They now also expect that same level of empowerment in-store. Studies show that 73% of U.S. consumers prefer self-service technology in retail stores to reduce staff interaction and 76% of shoppers report that retailers that utilize mobile technology (both self-service and used by sales associates) improve the speed and convenience of their shopping experience.

By providing similar self-service opportunities in-store as presented online, businesses can reduce customer friction and increase conversion metrics.

Consumer personalization

Intelligent and consumer-driven personalization tools are valuable both to improving the customer shopping experience, and in driving additional revenue.

AI point-of-purchase offerings such as product recommendations (e.g., frequently bought together, similar items, customers also liked, etc.) and custom product offerings (e.g., gift guides based on hobbies, menu items for dietary restrictions, style guides based on lifestyle, etc.) provide relevant shopping experiences that drive customer engagement and sales.

Modern business applications like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce can help support this omnichannel retail trend by leveraging AI-driven insights to help retailers better understand customer behavior, preferences, and trends.

One seamless retail experience

Connecting the shopping experiences across all channels improves critical customer metrics (CSAT, AOV, LTV), but also fuels employee satisfaction and even product and service offerings (by providing clearer, more connected insights on customer wants and needs).

When should you get started with your own omnichannel retail strategy and solutions? NOW. Before everyone catches up, and before your customers leave you behind.

The modern shopper demands a unified shopping experience that merges all points of contact. With strategic consultants versed in the specifics of the retail and wholesale industries and solutions architects leveraging the entirety of the Microsoft stack, Argano can help you meet that demand. Contact us to get started. Your customers, your employees, and your investors will be glad you did.