There’s no shortage of omnichannel chatter across the retail landscape, and that chatter has been building for quite some time. But now that 44% of American households are actively buying food both on- and offline, the industry needs to focus more on the consumer and less on the physical channel.
As online capabilities have grown, the industry has largely concentrated on developing capabilities to facilitate shopping from all angles. The companies that now have those infrastructures in place are well-poised for success. That’s because at the end of 2019, more than 54 million U.S. households had transitioned to true omnichannel shoppers. That’s up 14% from just two years earlier, and it means that it’s time to put the consumer—not the channel—at the center of the equation.
It’s possible that some market observers might have—not too long ago—believed that shopping would largely migrate online. Today, that mindset would most certainly be a death knell. We know this scenario isn’t going to materialize—at least in the near- to medium term. If it were, online giant Amazon wouldn’t be ramping up its physical retail presence through four distinct brick-and-mortar brands. Nor would it be opening its own full-size grocery store—complete with cashiers—this year in Woodland Hills, Calif.
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