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Shopping on the move: How mobile is driving omnichannel success in Germany

March 1 2016
Omnichannel is no longer a buzzword for future forecasters in eCommerce – it’s reality of now. And for retailers in Germany, integrating an effective mobile strategy to their omnichannel proposition is key.
How advanced do German retailers believe their mobile strategies to be? We worked with eTail Germany to poll 100 of the country’s top retailers to find out. 
 
During the survey, we found an interesting paradox: While 67% of our polled merchants believe they’re advanced in operating an omnichannel business, only 50% believe they’re fully implementing mCommerce – counterintuitive, as mobile is an integral part of any omnichannel proposition. 
 
Where are these retailers in getting their mobile strategy up to scratch? And where do the challenges still lie for retailers in Germany and beyond?
 
Integrating to omnichannel
In retailer omnichannel plans, mobile is high on the agenda. Half of German retailers expect to fully integrate mobile to their omnichannel strategy within 6 months. In particular, fashion brands lead the way, with a higher rate of 75%. 
 
With shoppers more interested in browsing and buying on the go, fashion brands are under pressure to better engage with an ever-evolving customer base in what is a highly competitive marketplace. Omnichannel strategies can help retailers succeed in environments were digital and store experiences are blurring
 
Importance of Apps
According to 84% of merchants, mobile apps in Germany have a bright future. They view apps as the trend shaping business for profitability, brand value and demand. Recognising that shoppers prefer to buy products using a quicker checkout experience and with mobile wallets, retailer user experience strategy is shifting from website dominance to app usage.
 
Apps have added benefits for retailers as well. They’re an easy way to build brand awareness, engagement and loyalty, providing another store front and an additional channel for exclusive information and promotional offers to encourage repeat business. This experience is particularly relevant for millennials, who retailers tell us are highly-engaged and a strong driving force for an integrated eCommerce strategy.
 
Online optimisation and personalisation
There’s lots of investment on the cards for online optimisation and personalisation. Nearly half of our polled German retailers are looking to spend between a quarter to half a million euros on these projects the next 12 months. And for top-selling merchants, 10% anticipate shelling out €1 million or more. 
 
We know that retailers are excited about the prospect of hyper-targeting shoppers on the go, and it’s good to see that now in 2016 they are starting to take this proposition more seriously. It will be important to  consider how to deliver a highly-personalised experience without overstepping the mark or infringing on personal space.