The emergence of omnichannel retail has intensified the competition between new-age direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands and traditional global enterprises. It’s no more about how long you have been in the industry, but the values your brand stands for and how well you understand your customer’s changing preferences.
Despite recent supply chain challenges, the COVID-19 pandemic has been good to the U.S. e-commerce market. Stay-at-home orders drove brands to build or accelerate their D2C fulfillment operations, and many profited from the boom in online shopping.
Still, brick-and-mortar retail is far from dead. Customers value sensory aspects of physical shopping, and a growing number of stores are adding microfulfillment operations to facilitate curbside pickup or faster last-mile delivery. This omnichannel, “phygital” approach — when paired with a strong D2C channel — offers a seamless brand experience.
Merchandising in the Cloud
Delivering a cohesive phygital shopping experience requires the right technology adoption for processing real-time insights. Integrating cloud computing not only reduces costs but simplifies workflow, improves efficiency and end-user experience.
Cloud forms the backbone of all e-commerce and D2C brands — enabling scalability, security and data analytics capabilities that make businesses more responsive to changing customer preferences. A unified shopping experience demands merchandising on the cloud to drive sales across multiple channels simultaneously. It empowers retailers to:
Stores of the future will be integrated with technologies like virtual reality, artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies to allow customers an interactive, immersive experience with the products. As customers connect with brands at multiple levels, a D2C retail strategy will help brands evaluate valuable data and take appropriate measures to build brand loyalty that usually gets masked on multi-brand marketplaces. With the holiday season around the corner, retailers must capitalize on the D2C and omnichannel growth to take data-driven and customer-centric decisions.
Anshuman Agarwal is co-founder of Increff.
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