Holistic Approach: The Holy Grail of eCommerce
By Marco Leo, VP of Product and Technology Innovation, Liferay
Traditionally, there has been a clear separation between manufacturers, distributors and retailers as a product is delivered directly to the end consumer. As eCommerce evolves, and supply chains are disrupted, these clear distinctions have blurred.
Manufacturers are trying to find new ways to get closer to the end consumer through digital channels, and retailers can also benefit from many of these new manufacturing ideas. Here are a few eCommerce trends we at Liferay will be watching closely in 2022.
Unified Commerce Experience over Experiential Store Experiences
Prior to the pandemic, retailers were trying to create experiential store concepts as a way to combat the perceived threat of online channels. In 2022, retailers will see that a holistic approach is more important, facilitating seamless transitions between in-store and digital brand interactions for their customers.
We foresee in 2022 more retailers looking at how eCommerce can actually benefit their in-store experiences in a meaningful way. As an example, stores are creating virtual closets where customers have digital versions of their past purchases stored. Store staff can access these closets and make recommendations based on this to the customer.
In 2022, retailers will see that a holistic approach is more important, facilitating seamless transitions between in-store and digital brand interactions for their customers.
- Marco Leo, VP of Product and Technology Innovation, Liferay
While not an innovation, we expect to see continued expansion of this concept in 2022. With the proven cross-selling potential of kiosks for customers in-store being able to purchase items, retail outlets tend not to stock. This, coupled with the potential to get new online customers through the doors and increase their spend in-store, shows that we are still seeing the early days for endless aisles.
With shelf space at a constant premium, being able to offer a wider range of products digitally, especially from consumer appealing smaller challenger brands can be a major advantage.
Blockchain improving operations and post purchase experiences
On the manufacturing side, companies are incorporating blockchain technology to their smart packaging strategies in order to gain visibility of their full supply chain, reducing manual, repetitive and costly processes that were put in place to track the journey of a product.
It will also improve post purchase experiences. Retailers and manufacturers are using it to certify origin and authenticity of goods bought online. Blockchain is being used to provide customers with an entire product history, from the manufacturer to the seller, mapping not only the transportation and delivery but also the storage and production of that good to mitigate fraud concerns and give easy access to information even in the most complex supply chains.
As separation between manufacturers and retailers is blurred, one challenge will remain on both B2B and B2C eCommerce: getting actionable insights from data to improve the customer experience. Technologies that help take down silos of information getting in the way of providing consumers with more convenience will continue to be the most relevant to any company in eCommerce in 2022 and on.