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Omnichannel Retail: Here's What You Need To Know

    Omnichannel retail is no longer just a trend, it is part of the fabric of modern retail.  

    To succeed in this competitive environment retailers are no longer functioning solely as brick-and-mortar stores or only using e-commerce. Those looking to grow are creating an interconnected sales approach using physical stores, online stores and even mobile stores to establish a seamless shopping experience for customers.

    Here are several quick facts about omnichannel retail we should all know. 

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    1. Consumers Still Prefer Physical Stores

    Though e-commerce has come a long way, online sales have yet to exceed purchases made in physical stores. More than 90% of all retail sales still take place within brick-and-mortar locations, according to a CBRE retail report released earlier this year.  

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    2. Millennials Are Key

    America's roughly 80 million Millennials are a driving force in the retail space, and they're shopping preferences have influenced the industry greatly. The 20- and 30-somethings would rather engage with a retailer online or via social media than chat with a sales rep in a physical location. Their adoption of technology has been a driving force in the success of omnichannel retail. 

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    3. Social Media Engagement

    Engaging with customers via social media is paramount for retailer's success, especially with today's Millennial shoppers. Social media can be a powerful tool in a brand's arsenal, even leading to successful marketing campaigns and in-store engagements. 

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    4. Industrial Boom

    As traditional retailers shift their needs to accomodate the fluid and on-demand omnichannel experience, industrial markets are reaping the benefits. 

    With consumers’ insatiable appetites and even larger expectations when it comes to the purchase and delivery of merchandise, state-of-the-art facilities are in high demand. Retailers are consolidating their supply chains, to be more cost efficient and moving into distribution centers that can handle e-commerce.

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    5. Tech Advancements In Physical Stores

    Though online and mobile stores are both important parts of the omnichannel experience, retailers are looking for ways to get more customers into physical locations. Augmented and virtual reality are both driving product and store design, allowing retailers to extend their reach without adding to their footprint.