2021 Omnichannel and Fulfillment Benchmark Survey: Has Ecommerce Acceleration Pushed Retail Closer to the Omnichannel Ideal?

No one needs to be told how much COVID-19 and its ripple effects (supply chain challenges, store closures, labor shortages, etc.) have affected the industry. But the biggest retail impact — an ecommerce surge that pushed online commerce adoption ahead by years — might have the unintended consequence of moving more retailers closer to an omnichannel ideal. Of course, such a shift will involve painful adjustments for many retailers, particularly those lacking the technological, operational and process capabilities to respond with agility.

The 2021 Omnichannel and Fulfillment Benchmark Report, based on a survey of 115 retail executives, provides a snapshot of an industry transitioning from the “crisis mode” of the past two years into what could be sustainable future growth. Investments in smart, innovative omnichannel and fulfillment solutions will be critical to individual companies — and the industry as a whole — making that transition a successful one.

Key takeaways from the Report include:

  • Continued use of COVID-era services such as phone/text chats with associates by 56% of responding retailers;
  • A sharpened focus on customer acquisition and retention, selected as a top omnichannel strategic business objective by 63% and 58% respectively; and
  • The importance of multiple fulfillment options such as BOPIS, identified by 61% of retailers as critical to their omnichannel brand strategy.

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