This article is part of a larger series on Retail Management.
It’s more important than ever to consider your omnichannel retail strategy, which is the seamless integration of every customer touchpoint, both in person and online. As you’ll see with the omnichannel trends outlined below, shoppers already engage in omnichannel shopping behaviors, and retailers are investing in technology that enables it.
Omnichannel Statistics Overview
1. More than half of retailers are investing in tools that allow them to sell anywhere
According to Shopify’s Future of Commerce report, 53% of retailers are adopting tools to help them sell in various channels. This is in response to a shift in consumer behavior that has blurred the lines between physical retail and ecommerce.
2. Nearly half of retailers say their biggest challenge is breaking down silos
Shopify’s survey also found the biggest challenge for brands that want to implement an omnichannel strategy is “breaking down organizational silos between digital and physical stores” (49%). Another 47% say integrating online and retail store data and operations will “prove to be difficult.”
3. Retailers who don’t sell on multiple channels miss out on up to 30% of sales
With options to shop on multiple channels using different devices, those who don’t meet consumer expectations lose out on significant sales opportunities. Some research estimates retailers lose anywhere between 10% and 30% of sales when they fail to meet omnichannel shopping expectations.
4. Using 3+ channels increases order rate by 494%
Marketing campaigns that exist on multiple platforms with a synergetic omnichannel approach are significantly more effective than single-channel campaigns. Omnisend reports a 494% higher order rate (0.83% vs 0.14%) for marketing campaigns that use at least three channels, as compared to those launched on just one channel.
5. 66% of consumers want retailers to be more digitally innovative
One survey found that about two-thirds of global consumers wish businesses would embrace technology and digitally innovate more. This means there’s a great opportunity for early adopters to win customers over before there’s too much competition.
6. 43% of brands will display inventory in stores
One way retailers will implement omnichannel is by showing what inventory is available in nearby stores. Shopify’s Future of Commerce report says this will be a priority for 43% of brands.
7. 47% of consumers are more likely to purchase online if in-store return is an option
Offering the option to return online purchases at your retail location can boost sales. Approximately half of global consumers are “significantly more likely” to make an online purchase if given this option.
This is especially important considering about $761 billion in merchandise, or 16.6% of total retail sales, was returned in 2021—$166 million for every $1 billion in sales. Auto parts, apparel, home improvement, and housewares are the niches with the highest returns rates.
8. 80% of consumers who return a product to a store spend their refund in the store
While returns are certainly a hassle for retailers, it doesn’t always lead to lost sales. When a shopper returns a product in your physical store, 80% of the time they’ll spend the money they get back on other products from the store. In some cases, these shoppers spend as much as 10 times more than shoppers who only engage via online channels.
9. 63% of shoppers research online when considering a major purchase
In the US, more than 60% of digital consumers conduct online research when they make a “major purchase.” This means it’s important to show up digitally, even if you rely on in-store sales. Use online channels to share information about your products and brand. In most cases, these shoppers end up buying in-store anyway.
10. 55% of consumers want to look at products online and see what’s available in nearby stores
As part of the research process, more than half of shoppers want to be able to look at products online and see information about where they can get those products in-store. Real-time inventory data syncing is crucial if you want to show accurate information—you don’t want to send a customer to your store only to find out the item they want is actually out of stock at that particular location.
11. More than half of consumers are likely to look at a product online and buy it in-store—and vice versa
Product research happens online and in stores. In fact, 54% of shoppers say they’re likely to check out a product online and later buy it from a physical store. On the flip side, 53% are likely to check out a product at a store and then later purchase it online. That’s why it’s important to show up online and in person so you can meet shoppers where they are.
12. 40% of shoppers start their buying journey with a broad search
When consumers begin their product research, they don’t all head straight for your website or even Amazon to search. In fact, 40% of consumers start broad with online browsing and then narrow in on channels like Amazon, Facebook, and Google.
Learn how to appear in shoppers’ search results in our guide to ecommerce search engine optimization (SEO).
13. 35% of people say they would shop online more if they could do virtual try-ons
Virtual fitting rooms have increased in popularity among retailers and consumers alike. More than a third of people would do more online shopping if they had the option to try on the product before making a purchase. Virtual try-ons mimic the in-person experience, no matter where the shopper is located.
14. 81% of Gen Z consumers prefer to find new products in stores
Product discovery is still happening in stores. As many as 81% of US-based Gen Z consumers prefer to shop in stores so they can find new products. Another 48% of consumers like to shop in person so they can find out what’s in style or on trend.
15. More than 50% of Gen Z consumers shop in stores to disconnect digitally
More than half of those same US-based Gen Z shoppers also say in-store shopping and browsing helps them disconnect from the digital world. Sometimes digitally savvy consumers want to take a break from the technology. Creating an inviting and comfortable in-store environment is a great way to become a place of solace for those shoppers.
16. 55% of consumers look forward to shopping in stores
Though ecommerce is a popular and growing sales channel, the in-store experience is still important. More than half of shoppers happily anticipate being able to shop in stores more comfortably in a post-pandemic world.
17. 40% of consumers don’t like to buy without physically seeing and touching the product first
The retail environment is a critical place that allows shoppers to have an intimate hands-on experience with products. This helps drive sales. As many as 40% of shoppers won’t purchase a product if they haven’t had a chance to see and touch it first in person.
18. 72% of consumers say they showroom
Showrooming is when a shopper visits a retail store to experience the products but they have plans to purchase it elsewhere, usually online. Nearly three-quarters of consumers want to visit stores to showroom as part of their purchase process.
Learn How to Select and Design Retail Lighting to make your products stand out.
19. 51% of shoppers make purchases on their phone while inside a store
Some people will even make an online purchase from a retailer while physically being inside the retail shop. In fact, more than half of consumers report doing so in 2020, an increase from 38% in 2019. Another 58% report making the online purchase from a different retailer, highlighting the importance of creating a positive digital mobile shopping experience to complement the in-person one.
20. 46% of retailers plan to prioritize showrooming in the next year
While showrooming may not currently be at the top of retailers’ priorities, many plan to change that in the coming year. According to Shopify research, 46% of surveyed merchants have plans to make showrooming a priority.
21. The number of installs for appointment booking apps increased by 23% globally
Appointment-based in-store shopping is also on the rise. Shopify saw a 23% increase in appointment booking app installs from January 2021 through September 2021 compared to the same time period the previous year. This approach to in-store shopping can make people more comfortable as we transition into flexible COVID guidelines. It can also create a more personalized and intimate shopping experience that works especially well in luxury and/or fashion markets.
BOPIS/Click & Collect
22. 60% of consumers have used BOPIS
BOPIS (or buy online, pick up in-store) accelerated in adoption due to COVID-19 precautions, and it continues to increase in popularity. As many as 60% of consumers have used BOPIS in 2021, a 5% increase from the previous year. Another 77% have tried ROPO (research online, purchase offline), also a 5% increase. “This indicates that an increasing number of shoppers are comfortable navigating a path to purchase that includes the benefits of ecommerce (e.g., more choice, ability to quickly compare) coupled with what an offline experience can provide (e.g., special incentives, like lower in-store prices),” the Criteo report writes.
23. 67% of shoppers purchase more products if they can pick it up instantly
BOPIS, also referred to as click and collect, can also help boost sales and average order value (AOV). Of the 50% of adult shoppers who told Shopify they use BOPIS, two-thirds claim if products are available for immediate pickup, they’ll purchase more items than originally planned.
Ecommerce Omnichannel Statistics
24. Ecommerce grew 9.2% in Q4 2021 compared to Q4 2020
Ecommerce has been on an upward trajectory since it launched. Year-over-year growth was 9.2% in Q4 2021.
25. 77% of internet users buy something online every month
Of internet users between 16 and 64 years old, more than three-quarters purchase something online in the past month. Nearly 90% of users based in Indonesia are likely to make online purchases, more than any other country in the world.
26. Physical and online retail each generate almost 20% of revenue
While ecommerce grows, physical retail sales remain competitive. Online and physical retail each account for almost 20% of total retail revenue, according to Shopify analysis. Online retail sales has a slight edge, accounting for 19% of total revenue while physical retail sales measures in at 18%.
Mobile Omnichannel Retail Statistics
27. There are more than 6 billion smartphone subscriptions worldwide
Mobile phone usage continues to climb globally. Today, there are more than 6 billion global smartphone subscriptions. Estimates say this number will climb by several hundred million in a few years.
28. Mobile devices make up more than 50% of global web traffic
More mobile devices also means more mobile web traffic. In fact, a little over half of the world’s total web traffic comes from a mobile device (excluding tablets). More specifically, mobile devices have consistently been around 50% since the beginning of 2017. In 2020, it went past the halfway mark, and mobile devices made up 54.4% of web traffic by Q4 2021 (nearing 60% by mid-2022).
29. Mobile sales will be 10.4% of all retail transactions by 2025
Currently, mobile commerce (mcommerce) makes up 5.9% of total retail transactions. eMarketer forecasts total mobile sales to continue to increase each year, making up 10.4% of total retail transactions by 2025.
30. Mcommerce is expected to increase by 25.5% from 2019 to 2024
Business Insider also predicts growth in mobile commerce. It reports an expected 25.5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2019 to 2024. This puts mcommerce sales to be 44% of total ecommerce sales, hitting $488 billion in a single year.
31. Omnichannel campaigns with SMS are 429% more likely to convert
Omnisend found that retail and ecommerce marketing campaigns that use just one channel are significantly less effective than omnichannel campaigns that add SMS text messaging. In fact, campaigns with SMS added have a 0.74% order rate compared to just 0.14% for single-channel campaigns—that’s a significant 429% difference.
32. Omnichannel campaigns with push messages earn a 614% higher order rate
Email marketing platform Omnisend’s analysis found that omnichannel campaigns with push messages earn a 614% higher order rate than campaigns that use just a single channel. As many as 38% of people who clicked on a push notification purchased something.
33. “High-performing companies” are more likely to have adopted omnichannel customer support
Customer service platform ZenDesk ran a survey in which it found that 50% of “high-performing companies” offer omnichannel support, compared to less than 30% of “average performers” and less than 20% for “low performers.” These companies allow customers to interact with them in a variety of ways, and the support technicians do the same. Everything is consistent for a synonymous customer experience regardless of channel or agent.
34. 40% of consumers say they’ve used three or more channels to communicate with customer service reps
Today’s consumers are becoming more comfortable using different channels to engage with customer support. One report found that 40% of shoppers have used at least three channels to interact with support reps. This includes but isn’t limited to channels like live chat, email, social media, and phone.
35. 35% of companies plan to invest in adding customer service channels
Businesses across all sectors are responding to this consumer behavior. ZenDesk also reports more than a third of companies have plans to invest in offering customer service across a variety of channels. This is in response to a more tech-savvy buyer, accelerated by the pandemic.
36. Social commerce sales are forecast to hit $45.74 billion in 2022
eMarketer estimated online retail sales via social media channels to climb to more than $45 billion by 2022, a 25% increase from the year prior. Retailers can now use social media to connect with customers organically, pay for advertising, and even sell products directly.
37. 42% of retailers plan to sell through social media
Many retailers are adapting to the social commerce trend. One Inmar survey found that as many as 42% of retail businesses had plans to use social media for selling purposes in 2021. In the year prior, only 30% of retailers planned to engage in social commerce.
38. 78% of consumers will buy from a brand after a positive social media interaction
According to Sprout Social, a positive interaction with a brand on social media will lead more than three-quarters of online shoppers to feel comfortable purchasing from that brand. Additionally, that positive engagement would also lead 77% to opt for that brand instead of a competitor.
39. 54% of consumers have found a new small business via social media
Even if you don’t use social media for selling, it’s a great place to build brand awareness and get in front of new potential customers. According to a ShipStation survey, more than half of shoppers have discovered new small businesses on social media in the past year.
40. The “live commerce” market in China is worth $170 billion a year
In China alone, the livestream market is worth $170+ billion annually. This is one of the most sophisticated livestream markets across the globe.
41. The livestream market is forecast to be worth $35 billion in the US by 2024
Retail Touchpoints reports that a 2020 study from Coresight Research estimates the US livestreaming market will be worth $35 billion in sales (3.3% of all US ecommerce). McKinsey & Company also reports the livestream market in the US could make up as much as 20% of all ecommerce sales by 2026. Plus, 15% of US-based consumers say they’re interested in livestream shopping.
42. Livestream shopping converts at a 10x higher rate than traditional ecommerce
The average ecommerce conversion rate sits at about 3%. But livestream shoppers are more likely to buy. Retailers that leverage livestream selling get conversion rates up to 30%—10 times higher than ecommerce.
43. 28% of shoppers said more livestream commerce would encourage them to buy through social
Just over a quarter of consumers believe if they had the option to do more livestream shopping they would also be more willing to convert via social channels. Livestream shopping seems to make consumers more comfortable with social commerce and can be an effective element of an omnichannel selling strategy.
44. Livestream shopping improved the shopping experience for 60% of customers
Even though it’s still relatively new, consumers love livestream shopping and generally walk away with a good impression after trying it. According to a survey run by Klarna, 60% of consumers who have shopped via livestream shopping believe it improved their shopping experience.
45. Most retailers use YouTube for livestream shopping
YouTube is the most popular livestream shopping platform among US retailers. Just over 30% of businesses use YouTube in 2021 for livestream selling. Facebook and Instagram are two other top platforms.
Omnichannel & COVID-19
46. 74% of consumers say they prefer online shopping post-pandemic
Nearly three-quarters US-based shoppers prefer to shop online even though physical stores are reopening in a post-pandemic world. Online is going to continue to grow, and physical stores will play different roles in the buyer journey. COVID-19 has changed the shopper experience forever.
47. In-store sales from omnichannel retailers increased 20% in 2021
In places with eased COVID-19 restrictions, in-store sales for omnichannel sellers are on an upward trajectory. In the US, for example, in-store sales grew 20% over the year. As many as 40% of consumers still shop at stores because they’re conveniently located, and another 43% choose physical retail when they have an “immediate need.”
Omnichannel Case Studies
48. At Target, multichannel customers spend 10 times more than digital-only customers
During Target’s successful Q2 2020, it boosted sales by nearly 25%, with digital sales climbing 195%. The retailer prioritized omnichannel to integrate digital and physical retail. As a result, shoppers who used multiple channels to buy from the retailer spent 10 times more than online-only shoppers and four times more than shoppers who only buy in store.
49. Omnichannel adoption boosted Zara’s digital sales by 74%
Fashion retailer Zara integrated digital and physical retail with omnichannel in Q2 2020 as well. As a result, the brand grew online sales by nearly three quarters in the first half of the year.
50. Adidas had 1,000 weekly orders when it launched click and collect
When Adidas first entered the click and collect market, it forecast few sales. However, the sports and fashion brand received 1,000 orders in its debut week. The retailer couldn’t keep up with initial demand and had to pause and relaunch the program a few years later.
Omnichannel retail is here to stay, and customers are increasingly opting to shop with retailers that offer synonymous shopping experiences across different channels. With today’s small business tools and technology, retailers of all sizes can implement omnichannel strategies in their businesses. The early adopters will set themselves up for success now and years to come.