- Multimillion dollar supply chain investments to create an integrated omnichannel experience for consumers paid off during the Thanksgiving shopping rush, according to new data from the National Retail Federation (NRF).
- The number of shoppers making purchases both in person and online reached 89.7 million, up nearly 40% from last year. Consumers shopping through multiple channels spent an average of $93 more than single-channel shoppers.
- Customers continue to use online stores to research in-store purchases, according to the NRF, emphasizing not just the growing importance of multiple channels, but also the need for them to be integrated and virtually identical.
Major retailers have been touting all year the investments in digital infrastructure and fulfillment capacity that make up their omnichannel strategies.
Home Depot has seen extremely quick growth in buy online pickup in store (BOPIS) and buy-online ship to store (BOSS) purchases, leading the retailer to redesign the front of the store, invest in lockers and invest in new software.
Ulta has opened an omnichannel warehouse to serve stores and roughly 20% of e-commerce orders, and Target and Kohl's use stores to fulfill e-commerce orders faster.
With 54% of shoppers making purchases on multiple channels between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it's clear that active omnichannel management is a major ingredient in successful retail sales going forward. As that trend matures, the question will become, what determines the winners and losers within it?
NRF spokesperson Ana Serafin Smith told Supply Chain Dive that it was the retailers who engaged with their customers actively on all possible channels, including in-store, online, social media, BOPIS and even mail order, that "did it right."
Black Friday winners and losers have already emerged based on successful marketing schemes and a few catastrophic digital fails, but as record orders are fulfilled, it's now time for the retailers to prove that their supply chains are ready for the ominchannel age.