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The Omnichannel shopping experience: How shifting towards online has altered in-store purchasing habits

It is universally acknowledged that online platforms have, in recent years, gained significantly in popularity. Consumers are now more accustomed to shopping online, with thousands of products available, and just a few clicks away. This perception of the convenience and unlimited variety of the online offering is also affecting and shaping the in-store retail experience. Taking an omnichannel approach and working across different platforms can give a competitive edge, while consolidating the unified customer journey.  

The global pandemic caused many shifts in shopping habits, throughout 2020 and into 2021. UK restrictions resulted in a dramatic surge in online shopping and the use of click-and-collect services. As the UK adjusts to life post-pandemic, a significant proportion of consumers still look to online platforms when making purchasing decisions. The Office of National Statistics (ONS) reported online sales rising to 28.1% in September 2021 despite the easing of restrictions, while the level of in-store shopping remained low. An omnichannel approach makes online and physical shopping work together, instead of being viewed as mutually exclusive. 

How has online shopping altered in-store shopping habits 

The data speaks for itself. According to Supermarket News, Omnichannel grocery shoppers shop more often and spend up to 20% more. Shopping needs to be associated with ease and convenience. With online shopping altering in-store shopping habits at a rapid pace, retailers began to explore omnichannel experiences to keep up with this growing trend.  

The integrated customer experience across various touchpoints – online, social media, and in-store, allows consumers to move seamlessly between all the connected channels. Browsing takes place online, and consumers can check local in-store availability from the comfort of their home before deciding whether or not to make the trip. This is why the relationship between online and in-store services is important as the UK retail industry adapts post-pandemic. 

Where does the in-store experience sit in the world of omnichannel? There are a large number of grocery items that consumers themselves still choose to select in-store. Business News Daily analysed the PWC annual consumer survey, which found that 65% of consumers choose to shop in-store to avoid delivery fees, while 60% said shopping in-store allowed them to have the item immediately.  

How consumers find and purchase products and services is undeniably changing. Think With Google partnered up with Trinity McQueen to test consumer behaviours. The results of the study showed that, together, online retail and in-store experiences offer great opportunities for both brands and consumer. The study also found that younger mobile shoppers, despite spending more time online than any other demographic, displayed a preference for a more hybrid off-and-online shopping experience versus older shoppers. This indicates a positive future for brick-and-mortar stores. In-person retail can undeniably find its place and thrive alongside the new trends in shopping habits. The most successful approach will lie in rethinking sales strategies, and utilising what in-store can do best.  

So, how do you ensure a smooth omnichannel sales approach while also providing a high-quality shopping experience in-store? As the UK adjusts to life post-pandemic, more and more shoppers are likely to enter physical stores again. Responding to trends, maintaining availability and fulfilling purchases efficiently has become the priority. With online shopping continually altering shopping habits, this is the time for retail businesses and brands to reinvent their in-store experiences and create an omnichannel strategy. 

How can Logobrand help you with navigating the world of omnichannel grocery shopping 

Even though the option for click-and-collect services, as well as deliveries, existed in the UK pre-pandemic, the past two years have undeniably shown that the demand for online shopping will not subside. Instead, it has revealed that UK grocery retailers are eager to respond and adapt to the changes and challenges which resulted from the pandemic.  

Developing an omnichannel shopping experience requires a data-driven approach. Paying attention to insights across every platform is a great first step into the world of omnichannel shopping for retailers. Alongside this, working with an EPOS system can improve the efficiency of inventory management, while resolving stock and availability issues. This allows retail businesses to adapt to rapid changes in consumer habits. This in-depth understanding of sales and inventory can be beneficial for retailers and brands alike, giving broader and more comprehensive insight across in-store operations. 

Unquestionably, the rise in popularity of online shopping and click-and-collect services continues to place pressure on physical stores. Battling to match the availability levels of online platforms has become one of the key driving forces for retailers.  

With supermarkets facing this challenge, there is a particular strain on resources, operations and the supply chain. If stock isn’t replenished quickly enough, on-shelf availability will suffer. This creates gaps on shelves, including point-of-purchase displays, imperative in-store spaces designed to attract impulse purchases. This can lead to lost sales and a decline in brand loyaltyStock gaps and empty shelves are frustrating for shoppers and concerning for retailers and brands, as products need to be available and visible to drive sales. On-shelf availability is more important than ever as we envision the future of omnichannel retail.  

So, how can you guide your retail business or brand through the world of omnichannel grocery shopping? With the right field sales team, in-store insights and stock level support, your brand can get on the right track to ensure a seamless customer experience and maximise sales.  

How can Logobrand’s services help your retail business entering omnichannel shopping? 

  • Fixing those on-shelf availability gaps by deploying an agile field representative in-store to tackle those retailer compliance or stock replenishment issues 
  • Increasing visibility. With additional sites and visual merchandising, your product sales will soar 
  • Regaining share of shelf. We’ll ensure the correct number of facings are present to keep your consumers engaged and the shelves fully stocked 
  • Effective merchandising 
  • Rectifying store and SKU level problems where retailer EPOS data is available 
  • Identifying stores that need support and pinpointing products that are experiencing availability issues, out-of-stocks and therefore lost sales 
  • Driving SEL compliance – it’s getting back to basics, but we know shoppers don’t buy products without knowing the cost 

A Logobrand, our dedicated team of field marketing experts will help you maximise sales in-store and deliver a positive return on your investment. With omnichannel shopping experiences driving changes in the retail environment, we are ready and equipped to help retailers and brands navigate through this. If you’d like to find out how to maximise sales in-store, get in touch with a member of our friendly team today.