The role of the mobile app in omnichannel sales

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One of the most significant effects that the pandemic had on the economy was the massive growth of e-commerce. This sector, although it had been steadily recording better results for years, became the main way to supply households with many products during the subsequent lockdowns. Over the Internet we started to buy almost everything – from clothes, through sports equipment, electronics and household appliances, to food, cosmetics and construction products.

As we can learn from the report “E-commerce in Poland 2020” prepared by Gemius in cooperation with the Chamber of Electronic Economy, last year at least 73 percent of global network users shopped online. Compared to 2019, this represents an increase of 11 percentage points. On the other hand, the value of the entire sector amounted to as much as PLN 100 billion in 2020 and was 30 percent higher than the previous year.

From the point of view of entrepreneurs involved in online trade, another report is worth attention – “Omni-commerce. I buy comfortably” prepared by IGE. It shows that almost 70 percent of consumers buy the same products or brands using different channels – through the browser and mobile applications. Such a high indicator is certainly the best reason to take a closer look at the omnichannel trend.

What is omnichannel in sales? What do you need to know about this technique?

We will start, of course, by explaining what omnichannel is. It is a strategy assuming that a store should use as many channels as possible to reach the customer and to complete the transaction. Channels are understood as, among others, stationary store, online store, marketplace, mobile application or call centre. Importantly, all of them should be integrated with each other to ensure the best possible cooperation.

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Examples of such actions include: shopping cart sharing on the website and in the mobile application, the ability to pick up online purchases in a stationary store, unification of loyalty programs (usually implemented as a combination of e-account and loyalty cards), cross-selling and the option to make returns and complaints in stationary stores.

What is the role of e-commerce in omnichannel? Why is it worth implementing it in an e-store?

Ecommerce is certainly one of the key channels in any omnichannel strategy. Its importance is best demonstrated by the numbers. To the statistics we provided in the first part of the article it is worth adding market forecasts. They say, among other things, that in just 4 years Poles will spend as much as 20 percent of their money on the Internet. Besides, online store can be used not only for sales. Through it, many customers search and watch products, which they then buy stationary, by phone or through an application.

Mobile app in omnichannel strategy. Smartphones should not be forgotten

Another very important channel for the overall strategy is to develop a mobile app. In this case, it is again worth referring to the statistics. Already in 2018, smartphones and tablets were used by the same percentage of Poles as desktop and laptop computers. In the last three years, this number has certainly increased even more and stands at 69 percent for smartphones and 24 for tablets. Thanks to the possibility of integration with loyalty programs and bank account, as well as full control over security, more and more users decide to do their shopping through it. The considerable capabilities of the application also make it a good tool for integrating other channels.

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What are the current trends in omnichannel implementation? What should be kept in mind?

When planning an omnichannel strategy, it is worth taking into account the trends that are currently the most popular. In the vast majority of cases, they are the most effective way to increase the reach and effectiveness of all activities. One of them is the so-called client-centrism. It consists in shifting the burden from selling to following the customer using all available online and offline tools.

Another important trend is the creation of a whole ecosystem allowing to conduct effective activities on multiple platforms. The system should support multi-channel sales and ensure control over all processes. Its development is a task requiring work of many specialists, technologically complicated and time-consuming. In many cases it may be better to buy a ready-made solution.

 

 

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