Omnichannel Retail Trends Brands Can't Afford to Miss

By Tinuiti Team

As consumers grow and change, so do online retail trends — and with more and more Gen Z’ers aging into shopping dominance, keying into those trends is crucial for sustained ecommerce success.

Do you know what omnichannel retail trends are coming down the pipeline?

Are you ready to meet the needs of these younger shoppers and leverage their social influence to gain more visibility, loyalty, and sales?

Here’s what to keep on your retail strategy radar.

“Consumers simply don’t think in terms of channels. This isn’t 1998. No one is sitting around and thinking, ‘Hey, I think I’ll do some online shopping.’ For many years, and certainly in 2019, it’s all just ‘shopping.’”

Ray Hartjen, Marketing Director at RetailNext

– Ray Hartjen, Marketing Director at RetailNext


Instagram And Snapchat


Though Gen X’ers spend a lot on Facebook-found items and many Boomers still shop in-store, with Millennials and Generation Z, it’s all about Instagram and Snapchat.

Over 70 percent of Millennials have made a purchase from either site in the last month, while about 30 percent of Gen Z’ers have.


Source: Snapchat (Visual Search)


These two platforms obviously hold a lot of clout for the up-and-coming generations, which also may indicate a leaning toward more visual merchandising and selling.

It’s also a call to action for brands to get strategic with their advertising campaigns on both platforms.


The Seamless Digital Experience


If your omnichannel retail strategy isn’t a seamless one, you can bet your customers are noticing — especially the younger ones.

Today’s shoppers want (and downright expect) a consistent, 100-percent seamless experience across all channels, be they mobile, web-based or even in a physical store.


f8 nike messenger ar shoe drop
Nike debuted AR features that allow shoppers to interact with new shoes at last year’s Facebook F8 Conference.


If your entire ecosystem isn’t working together and in harmony, then you aren’t offering that seamless experience that can drive customer growth and sales.


Convenience, Price, And Shipping


It’s not loyalty programs or snazzy branding that entice today’s shoppers to buy from your website.  Across all four generations — Gen Z, Gen X, Millennials, and Baby Boomers — convenience and price come in tops.

The third-most important factor influencing purchase decisions?



That’d be free shipping.

This focus on easy and affordable shipping prices is likely why Amazon dominates the retail market — and will continue to do so for years to come.


Younger Shoppers Don’t Want To Wait


It’s no secret that Gen X’ers and Millennials are used to lightning-fast response times.

For most of their lives, they’ve been able to shoot off a text, send an email or pull up a web search all within a mere 5 seconds, and it’s caused their attention span (and likely their patience) to shrink significantly compared to other generations.


the durg store dirty lemon conversational commerce
Customers simply text their order after grabbing a beverage from Dirty Lemon’s store.


For these reasons, Gen Z shoppers cite product and shipping wait times as their biggest pet peeves in omnichannel retail.

High costs for those shipping and wait times? Those also rank high on the list.


Payment Options Matter


Credit cards are a given in omnichannel retailing, but increasingly, shoppers are looking for other payment options when purchasing online.

Millennials want PayPal, mobile wallet and financing options available, while Gen Z’ers rank mobile wallets as their top payment method.



According to data, Millennials and Generation Z shoppers use mobile wallets twice as much as other generations.


Product Returns Are Now The Norm


Returning a product is no longer a maybe scenario. Generation Z shoppers downright expect to return their orders — at least 75 percent of them.


amazon prime wardrobe
Easy returns are a staple of Amazon’s Prime Wardrobe service.


Millennials expect to return about half their products. As far as why they’re returning items at this rate, the reasons range from poor fit or damaged during shipping to products not matching the description (or the customer’s expectations).

Though most customers are making these returns via mail, brick-and-mortar returns are actually on the rise.


Younger Shoppers More Open To Sharing Information


Most online retailers are using data to power their marketing efforts, customize their sales and tailor content to their customers’ needs and preferences.

But Boomers and Gen Xers? They’d rather not participate.

More than 70 percent of both these generations say they’d opt out of sharing data, even if it meant no longer receiving special offers or discounts relevant to their needs.


data sharing ad personalization
Source: Fossbytes


Gen Z’ers and Millennials would still opt out more often than not, but not nearly as much as their older counterparts. In general, those that are willing to share their data would rather do so for discounts, early access to new products, VIP status, and free shipping.

As you can see, today’s shoppers are changing and evolving — and with that, your omnichannel retail strategy should evolve, too.



Want to learn more?

Top Predictions For Retail in 2019 [From Leading Industry Experts]

10 Innovative Retail Trends to Watch in 2019


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