In 2015 we saw that, in addition to online browsing and searching, some retailers have further incorporated mobile into other parts of their customers’ journey. This includes order fulfilment, payments and loyalty. Contactless payment methods like Apple Pay are one small step customers are embracing as part of this. In-store marketing solutions, such as beacons, to enhance the shopping experience are another.



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A few more retailers ventured into omnichannel retailing in the last year. Somewhat of a buzzword, omnichannel is essentially cross-channel done with finesse. We already knew that for true continuity of experience, a mobile app should match the responsive design of the website, which thematically reflects the look and feel inside the physical store. In the next few years, we anticipate an increase on these strategies as we continue to find new and better ways to bridge the space between real world, offline experiences and emerging digital channels, especially in mobile.

The real revolution of omnichannel retailing, however, is where it is predicted to be heading next. Currently customers’ investment of time in offline and online research is a fragmented experience with a little help from mobile websites to make it more co-ordinated, but only within the realm of a single brand. In the next five years we could see competitor brands exchange data via customers’ preferences. The idea being that customers will give access to other data they have collected that will far outweigh the value of the limited data in a single brand universe.

This introduces a new dimension of customer decision. Theoretically, brands who can best interpret omnichannel data and understand all customers are the winners. Price, relationship, service and continuity will all be considered as the decision is being made to purchase.

There are challenges with changing customer and retailer patterns on such a massive scale but they do happen, just as modern mail order customers expect fulfilment to be completed in hours rather than “allow 28 days for delivery” of just a decade or so ago. Shoot the Moon will, of course, keep you up to date with retailing developments throughout 2016.