Industry Coverage icon

The Future of Omnichannel Retail

An industry strategic foresight trends report.

Unlock a Free Sample
  • Omnichannel retail challenges are many, including the unique value proposition, online-to-offline (O2O) personalization, customer experiences, inventory under- or overstocking, warehouse management, uninformed employees, technology adoption rate, and vendor partnerships.
  • Your retail operation struggles to go beyond the set ways, metrics, logistics, and systems typical of its pre-set, single-channel origins.
  • Your retail operation is overly cautious with a low appetite for transformational disruption, risking being left behind as the rest of the industry progresses in this digital era.
  • Your brand has difficulty attracting new customer segments and struggles to offer a compelling proposition in the competitive retail landscape.
  • The effects of the pandemic are still apparent within your retail operation, most notably labor shortages, order fulfillment issues, and operating model changes.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Businesses can be skewed in favor of one channel – often the first or original sales channel – and struggle to meet the 360-degree view, missing an opportunity that may prove necessary to building customer engagement and brand loyalty.

Impact and Result

  • Identify: Strategic foresight flows from the identification of signals to clustering the signals together to form trends and uncovering what is driving the trends to determine which strategic initiatives are most likely to lead to success on an industry level.
  • Prioritize: Further customize the scores by tailoring the generalized weightings to your organization and determining the relevancy and timing to your operations. By doing so, your enterprise can determine which trend and technology to prioritize for your retail omnichannel initiative.
  • Align: After establishing what trend and technology to prioritize, establish its benefits that closely align and promote the success of your business’ goals.

The Future of Omnichannel Retail Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Learn about the six key trends that will help drive retail digital transformation.

1. O2O Hyper-Personalization

Learn about the Online-to-Offline (O2O) Hyper-Personalization trend and the drivers enabling retail digital transformation.

2. Digital Experiential Era

Learn about the Digital Experiential Era trend and the drivers enabling retail digital transformation.

3. Social & Metaverse Commerce

Learn about the Social & Metaverse Commerce trend and the drivers enabling retail digital transformation.

4. Smart Store Hub

Learn about the Smart Store Hub trend and the drivers enabling retail digital transformation.

5. New Operative Models

Learn about the New Operative Models trend and the drivers enabling retail digital transformation.

6. Warehouse Automation

Learn about Warehouse Automation trend and the drivers enabling retail digital transformation.

7. Prioritization & Alignment

Funnel trends into technological opportunities by determining which retail digital transformation technology initiative your enterprise should prioritize and aligning its benefits to your enterprise goals.

Unlock a Free Sample

The Future of Omnichannel Retail


Analyst Perspective

In the age of disruption, Retail and IT must end misalignment and enable omnichannel value realization.

Retailers need to prioritize the omnichannel experience – hyper-personalization through new operative models – which has been increasing since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic; recognizing and adopting future trending signals could increase revenue and market share.

The digital experience must be woven with online-to-offline models, smart store hubs, and metaverse commerce supplemented with automation. Driving this digital transformation will help achieve the long-term business goals as well as the technology vision and will be critical for retailers to stay relevant.

Info-Tech’s approach focuses on an analytical investigation of strategic insights to help the IT division and the business process what is happening in external environments to guide ideation and identify potential opportunities.

Rahul Jaiswal

Rahul Jaiswal
Principal Research Director, Retail
Info-Tech Research Group

Executing omnichannel is key to the success of the organization’s strategy

Master omnichannel to enable seamless customer engagement

  • Warehouse automation helps respond to customer needs by providing a seamless checkout experience and faster delivery of merchandise.
  • Leaders are exploring the impact of new digital channel opportunities. For example, direct-to-avatar (D2A) commerce is an emerging business model in which products are sold directly to digital identities, with no supply chain management required.

Optimize operational excellence to realize key functions

  • Standardize processes to improve efficiency and enable new services to fulfill last-mile delivery.
  • Gather information during the customer journey. The greater the volume of data available, both internally and externally, the more telling and precise the analyses.
  • Ensure tools are focused on enabling one view of inventory, delivery tracking, and customer access.

Build a unique value proposition

  • Preset the entire enterprise planning and order management process through the order management system (OMS) and distributed order management (DOM) applications and controls.
  • Make an exclusive value proposition to inform and access products and services.
This image contains an example of an omnichannel comparing the Operating Model to the Customer Experience.

Info-Tech Insight

“Omnichannel” is the increasing adoption of technology tools and processes within all aspects of an organization.

Omnichannel is bringing businesses closer to the customer by understanding their needs

This image describes how omnichannel can bring businesses closer to the customer.


Value Chain & Partnerships

  • Positioning on the industry value chain
  • Enterprise ecosystem
  • Strategy formulation, planning, and communication

Business Models

  • Revenue and costs models
  • Physical and online coexistence (click & collect)
  • D2C, dropship, etc.

Value Proposition

  • Products and services
  • Pricing


Digital Marketing

  • Marketing organization
  • Brand management
  • Viral marketing
  • From push to pull

Leveraging Social Media

  • Social media strategy
  • Online reputation/branding
  • Integration with other channels

Customer Experience

  • Channel management
  • Customer interaction and engagement
  • Sales force performance
  • Service management


Digital Platforms and Operating Models

  • Global operating model and processes
  • Outsourcing and offshoring
  • Shared business services

Innovation and Experimentation

  • Open innovation and experimentation
  • Community-based innovation
  • Relationship with innovation ecosystem (startups, etc.)

Information Insight

  • Competing on analytics
  • Big data
  • Unstructured data


Supply Chain

  • One inventory view
  • Order execution
  • Warehouse automation
  • Last-mile delivery
  • Transparent collaboration, networking, and visibility

Employee 3.0

  • Enterprise 3.0
  • Open innovation, collaboration, and networking
  • All channel communication
  • Self-organized

Corporate Governance

  • New organizational models
  • Governance models


Technology Innovation

  • Innovation/usage lab/centers
  • Vendors partnerships
  • Partners ecosystem management

Technology Strategy & Roadmap

  • Architecture/infrastructure evolution
  • Cloud/edge computing
  • Headless e-commerce
  • 3D, social, and metaverse commerce

Technology Governance

  • Governance around technology decisions
  • Role and priorities for CXOs on technological issues

Info-Tech Insight

Omnichannel has become an indispensable part of operation and customer strategy. It enables businesses to understand the evolving needs of the consumer.

E-commerce is forecasted to grow steadily in the future, driven by an increasing number of online buyers who are willing to spend more

Online sales growth

$7.385 trillion

Worldwide retail e-commerce sales are expected to grow to US$7.385 trillion by 2025, up from US$5.545 trillion in 2022 (eMarketer, 2021).

Just three countries account for 75% of the world’s retail e-commerce sales: China, with 52.1%; the US, with 19.0%; and the UK, with 4.8%. Japan, South Korea, Germany, France, India, Canada, and Brazil round out the top 10. (Source: eMarketer, 2021)

E-commerce growth drivers – worldwide

this image contains a list of the following e-commerce growth Drivers: Social Commerce; Mobile Commerce; Customer Confidence; Content Localization; Internet Usage; Investment in Logistics; 3DCommerce; Global Reach; Broadband Access; Online Merchants; Cashless Transactions; 24/7 Secure Service.
  • E-commerce growth will remain strong throughout 2022 as the pandemic continues in many parts of the world and more consumers have become used to shopping online (eMarketer).
    • According to Morgan Stanley, China’s private consumption is set to more than double to reach $12.7 trillion by 2030 (CNBC, 2021).
    • Chinese e-commerce has evolved rapidly during the last five years, supported by high internet and smartphone penetration, increasing consumer confidence in online shopping, the rise of e-commerce platforms, and the availability of various alternative payment solutions such as Alipay and WeChat Pay (GlobalData).
    • More retailers are adopting omnichannel and click-and-collect strategies, which allow customers to order merchandise online for pickup in stores. The buy-online-pick-up-in-store (BOPIS) strategy is becoming a critical growth component of retail services.
  • A growing number of retailers are now experimenting with metaverse applications like avatar-driven customer service, augmented reality shopping, 3D commerce, and more. Retailers agree that the metaverse will play an important role in the future of the industry.

Retailers need to plan their mobile strategy while customer adoption rate and mobile commerce are rapidly increasing

Increased adoption rate and growth in mobile commerce

This image contains a graph demonstrating the actual and projected growth in worldwide smartphone subscriptions from the year 2016-2023


In 2021, 72.9% of all retail e-commerce is expected to be generated via mobile commerce (Statista).

Retail leaders are investing in mobile devices

  • Driving speed and flexibility:
    • The flexibility provided by mobile devices was particularly valuable as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. Retailers were able to quickly ramp up curbside pickup by using mobile devices to pick and pack, manage queues, and retrieve orders.
    • For example, Lacoste responded with “Street & Collect”; shoppers placed orders via the website or by scanning a QR code affixed to a store’s front window. That scan gave customers access to in-store inventory so they could place an order that was then delivered to them on the sidewalk or at the curb. Lacoste also rolled out “Croco Concierge,” which allowed VIP customers to shop virtually with associates through video calls or to schedule a shopping appointment outside of normal hours (Cegid).
  • Enriching the customer experience:
    • Australian skincare company Aesop enables associates to access a single view of the customer, including cross-platform history, loyalty status, and preferences. They can then tailor the in-store visit to a customer’s individual needs and preferences and to access endless aisle solutions to ensure every purchase can be fulfilled (Cegid).
  • With customers already consulting their smartphones before finalizing their purchase decision, the trend toward mobile will continue its significant influence on the retail sector.

Social commerce is anticipated to have a significant role in addressing the direct-to-customer (D2C) journey

The social commerce market is set to grow rapidly in the coming years

This image contains a graph demonstrating the expected growth in social commerce between the years of 2021 and 2025, as well as how frequently customers share recommendations online.

Users spend nearly 2.5 hours per day on social media platforms

  • According to Deloitte, shoppers are 29% more likely to purchase a product on the same day when they use social media to shop (2015). Once they see a product they like, they can simply click on the link and buy it.
  • Key growth drivers include increasing social media advertising, the rising Generation Z population, the increasing number of social media platforms, and the ease of shopping on social media.
  • Facebook remains the biggest social media platform in the world, followed by Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter (Search Engine Watch, 2020).
  • For retailers, there are opportunities to develop new types of shopping experiences, connect in new ways, and engage influencers/creators. And for brands, it means embracing small businesses and engaging directly with consumers through social platforms.
  • More retailers are investing in technologies like product-level social networking integration, site performance monitoring, distributed order management, internationalization of their website, user tagging/personalization, product videos, and self-learning search.
  • At scale, this means investing in building IT infrastructure that would allow centralized inventory management, data analytics, AI-driven distribution algorithms for optimized logistics, integrated customer service, and more.

Metaverse and 3D commerce will lead the next wave of growth with the direct-to-avatar (D2A) model through Web 3.0, NFT, and cryptocurrency

The metaverse market is set to grow rapidly in the coming years

The metaverse market is expected to grow to 10x its current size by 2030 – to US$1,542 billion. (Source: PwC via Korea JoongAng Daily, 2021)

The Future of Shopping is Hybrid


According to a 2021 survey by Wunderman Thompson, 61% of Americans prefer online shopping. That leaves a large section of the population that prefers in-person shopping.

Factors driving growth

  • A growing number of retailers are getting in the metaverse. AR in retail, commerce, and marketing is expected to surpass $12 billion in 2025 (Charged, 2021).
  • However, shoppers are still not ready to go fully digital; global consumers believe the future of shopping is hybrid (Wunderman Thompson, 2021).
  • Key growth factors include:
    • Virtual showrooming – Allows customers to take a tour and interact with 3D products such as cars, jewelry, or any digital asset.
    • Virtual try-on – Enables customers to tap into AR, try on glasses or makeup, and visualize furniture (e.g. Ikea, Lowes).
    • Customization & co-innovation – Nike uses 3D technology to let consumers build/design their shoes.
    • Enhanced experience across channels – Louis Vuitton created a video game to reach a younger audience and gamified it with branded NFT collectables.
    • Connected wellbeing – Digital treatments such as prescription gaming and VR pharmacies are gaining momentum in the medical world. This new class of meta-medicine brings a new physical dimension to digital tools.

Technology is enabling customers and impacting the way retailers address their changing expectations

  • The customer of today is more technologically savvy, informed, mobile, and time-starved.
    • Consumers are using a blend of smartphones and mobile apps, and they expect seamless integration through these channels.
    • Consumer buying behaviors are being governed by peer reviews on social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, etc.
  • According to 2021 research by Appnovation, consumers are interested in touchless technologies, but brands need to address concerns like security to make them feel comfortable.
    • More than 85% of consumers agree that touchless technologies will become more popular as people begin interacting with brands outside the home.
    • 68% of American consumers feel companies using touchless technologies are empathetic toward consumers.
    • 63% of American consumers are comfortable with voice and facial recognition, while Canadian consumers are more comfortable using devices with sensor or gesture recognition and touchless technology.
  • The result is a new customer base that wants to shop with technology on their own terms and at their convenience.

Traditional e-commerce platforms might not be up for the job. Today’s e-commerce solutions promise better performance, flexibility, and scalability, driven by an ecosystem of digital technologies such as microservices, headless commerce, API-first, and cloud-native SaaS.

The retail industry is entering the third generation of e-commerce: Generation 1.0 was stand-alone systems, Generation 2.0 was integrated systems with back-office processes, and Generation 3.0 is all about e-commerce services being vital to retailers’ operations.

Customers are actively using technologies across all phases of their shopping journey

Awareness Consideration Transaction Delivery Engagement

Omnichannel Enables

  • Online Social Network Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Voice Assistants/Chatbots
  • Podcast/Video Ads
  • Paid Media
  • Online Comparisons Management
  • Store Apps, Product Finder
  • In-Store Digital Marketing
  • Social Media Listening
  • Online Retailer-to-Customer (R2C) Advice
  • Online Customer-to-Customer (C2C) Advice
  • Online Product Visualization
  • Online Availability Indicators
  • Online Ratings & Reviews
  • Mobile Commerce
  • Contact Center
  • In-Store Digital Display
  • Online Size Guides
  • Store Cross-Selling
  • Virtual Showrooms
  • Endless Aisle
  • Gamification
  • Social Network Transact
  • Contact Center Transact
  • Kiosk Transact
  • Mobile Transact
  • Iris Scan/Facial Recognition
  • Touchless Transfer
  • Digital E-Wallet
  • QR Codes
  • Digital Coupons
  • Wearables Technology
  • E-Transfer
  • NFT, Cryptocurrency Payment
  • Mobile POS
  • In-Store Devices Transact
  • Smart Checkout Technology
  • Same-Day Delivery
  • Time Slot Delivery
  • Delivery Location Flexibility
  • Click and Collect in Store
  • Reserve Online Pick in Store
  • Buy Online Ship to Store
  • Buy in Store Deliver Home
  • Buy Online Pick Up in Locker
  • Automated Curbside Pickup
  • Delivery Tracking
  • Auto-Notification App
  • Messenger Bots
  • Service at Delivery
  • Push Notifications
  • All-Channel Returns
  • Omnichannel Query and Compliant Resolution
  • App-Based Rewards Program
  • Mystery Shopping
  • Write a Review
  • Blog
  • Social Post
  • Digital Avatar & Identities

Info-Tech Insight

Today’s shoppers expect to be able to transact with you in the channels of their choice. The right technology stack is critical to supporting world-class e-commerce and brick-and-mortar interactions with customers. Leverage Info-Tech’s proven, road-tested approach to using personas and scenarios to build strong business drivers for your omnichannel commerce strategy.

Examples of technology adoption by retailers and brands at various stages of the shopping journey

Awareness Consideration Transaction Delivery Engagement
Alibaba Group Lowe's Amazon Go Walmart Burberry

Alibaba’s livestream selling platform Taobao Live has nearly 40 million followers. In an online shopping festival touted as the world’s biggest 24-hour online sale, Taobao marketplace posted $7.5 billion in the first 30 minutes.

Virtual product imagining allows customers to have a 3D view of products.

Lowe’s interactive Holoroom helps drive purchase decisions with advanced visualization.

To enable faster checkout time, Amazon Go uses a combination of computer vision, deep learning, and sensor fusion technology to automate the payment at checkout made through the Amazon Go app.

Walmart is launching three full-time DroneUp airport hubs for on-demand last-mile delivery operations. Widespread adoption and usability of drone delivery is expected to take flight this year.

Burberry’s social store experience is centered around a custom WeChat mini-program to reward shoppers for engaging with the brand online as well as in store.

When a customer walks into the store, the store's computer system can identify the items the customer has viewed online.

SHEIN SHISEIDO The Home Depot Narvar Nike

Online fast-fashion brand Shein uses AI as its central engine to determine trends and predict consumer demand patterns. It leverages the combined scale of influencers and key opinion leaders on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok to run marketing campaigns and drive sales.

Shiseido Skin Visualizer is an AI-based skin consultation that uses a contact-free device to measure and visualize the condition of the customers’ skin and provide personalized skincare recommendations.

Home Depot accepts Bitcoin payments via Flexa’s checkout systems installed in their stores. Seamless checkout using Bitcoin, since Geminis’s partnership with Flexa, has taken out the friction traditionally involved with Bitcoin payments.

Narvar’s messenger chatbot helps over 400 retailers streamline the post-purchase shipping process. The bot can answer questions about tracking and delivery.

Nike uses 3D technology to engage fans by enabling them to build/design their shoes, etc.

The sportswear giant has partnered with video-game platform Roblox on Nikeland, a free-to-play virtual world with games.

Effects of omnichannel are being felt on all enterprise entities as new functions/models are realized across the retail ecosystem

This image contains a chart demonstrating the effects of omnichannel on all enterprises in response to new functions/models across the retail ecosystem

Retail CIOs must climb the maturity ladder to help CEOs drive growth

Based on 2021 benchmarking data, the Retail industry’s IT departments are at the “Trusted Operator” level on Info-Tech’s IT Maturity Ladder. CIOs at this level can play a role in digital transformation by improving back-office processes but should aim for a higher mandate.

CIOs at the “Business Partner” level can help directly improve revenues by improving customer-facing products and services, and those at the “Innovator” level can help fundamentally change the business to create revenue in new ways.

This image contains the maturity ladder which CIO's must climb in order to effectively assist their CEO's to drive growth.

IT innovation leadership, business applications, and client-facing technology are considered underrated services due to their low importance and satisfaction metrics. Furthermore, from an IT staffing perspective, being heavily focused on infrastructure demonstrates that the industry has stagnated on the IT Maturity Ladder as a Trusted Operator. By leveraging digital transformation technology tools to enable new omnichannel capability components and placing more attention on applications and strategy, your retail operations will have the opportunity to demonstrate the value of IT and provide greater satisfaction. In the end, your IT department can establish credibility with business stakeholders and expand as a transformational or evolutionary innovator.

Use these Info-Tech tools and templates to compile and communicate your retail reference architecture and omnichannel commerce work.

Retail Industry Business Reference Architecture Template

The Retail Industry Business Reference Architecture Template is a place for you to collect activity outputs and outcomes.

Download the Retail Industry Business Reference Architecture Template

Enable Omnichannel Commerce That Delights Your Customers

The Enable Omnichannel Commerce That Delights Your Customers blueprint will help you create a cohesive omnichannel framework that supports the right transactions through the right channels for the right customers.

Download the Omnichannel Commerce tools & templates

Omnichannel: Business perspective

Omnichannel strategy

of e-commerce companies in North America and Europe consider omnichannel strategies to be very important in 2021 (Statista).

  • Omnichannel commerce is a strategy that offers a seamless shopping experience from the first touchpoint to the last, regardless of the customer channel. It’s an approach that has started to show dividends for organizations.
  • Retailers selling through a single branded e-commerce site saw a 58% growth in revenue after adding a marketplace (BigCommerce).
  • Today, consumers are discovering brands in new ways and seeking contemporary conveniences to guide their shopping decisions. According to research by Statista, almost half of North American and European e-commerce decision-makers considered omnichannel strategies to be very important in 2021.

Steps for building an omnichannel strategy

  1. Assess customer segment: Segmenting customers allows retailers to build a better, more tailored strategy to reach different groups. Some factors by which retailers segment their customers include income range, geographic region, generation, online behavior, values, and interactions with marketing campaigns.
  2. Decide which channels to use for each customer segment: Use analytics to determine which of your channels are the most profitable, which are the most efficient, and/or which acquire the most new customers.
  3. Strategize the customer journey: Enterprises need to know the how and why of what the shopper is doing. Being able to chart the customer journey can reveal insights into a customer’s thought processes and let companies know what is working for the customers.
  4. Orchestrate reliable change and cross-channel customer support: Providing consistent, quality support that customers can count on may help increase their lifetime value and solidify their status as loyal customers.
  5. Integrate & implement technology: One of the most fundamental reasons to closely integrate channels is to get a single view of the inventory. Seamless handoffs among channels are a massive boon for customer support as well.
  6. Operate taking advantage of automation: Prioritize a tech stack that supports seamless integrations so that it always enables a real-time view of the enterprise and make decisions based on aggregated data.

This image contains the Omnichannel Retail Framework.

Methodology to enable omnichannel retail

  1. Assess
    • Market Analysis – Customer Segmentation, Trends, Competitors, Shopper Personas, and Buying Patterns
    • Usability Assessment
    • Channel Fluidity
    • Maturity Assessment
    • Organizational Change
    • Process Implications
  2. Ideate
    • Omnichannel Commerce Strategy & Blueprint
    • Assortment Planning
    • Order & Inventory Management
    • Centralized Marketing – Campaign Management, Location-Based Promotions, Personalized Communication, Consistent Product Information
    • Social Networking – Crowd Sourcing and Trend Monitoring
  3. Strategize
    • Business Architecture
    • Architecture Roadmap
    • Data Definition for Single Source of Truth
    • Cost Benefit Analysis
    • Product Evaluation
    • Customer Experience Definition
  4. Orchestrate
    • Change Management
    • Program Management
    • Technical Architecture
    • Design Governance
  5. Implement
    • Cross-Channel Visibility
    • Cross-Channel Integration
    • Customer Identity, Access Administration
    • Off-the-Shelf Product Implementation
    • Bespoke Development
    • Mobile, Social, 3D Commerce Integration
  6. Operate
    • Platform Operations
    • Application Support
    • Business Intelligence and Predictive Analytics
    • Technology Automation
    • Continuous Customer Engagement
    • Customer Services and Loyalty

Info-Tech Insight

Customers expect you to know them. It isn’t easy when there are so many channels involved, but you can’t leave your customer relationships to chance. Use technology to help you take thoughtful and deliberate actions to earn their loyalty and trust.

Omnichannel: Foundational IT elements

Real-Time Data, Open APIs & Integration

Enabling data from transactions and customer journeys via open APIs and integration is the first step to an omnichannel retail experience with accessible data points, greater functionality, and a better understanding of customer preferences with the ability to act upon them.

Big Data & Customer Behavior Analysis

Big data business patterns determine which data sources are best suited to the omnichannel architecture, which orchestrates data integration capabilities required to drive business decisions and makes the customer content relevant and the experience memorable.

Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning

Enhanced processing speed and human-centric behaviors are possible by interpreting algorithms and data to identify patterns.

Internet of Things & Advanced Wireless

IoT, Wi-Fi, and NFC/RFID/BLE connect customers and stores through smart device technologies, breaking down data silos and integration barriers. For example, beacons track customers and their spending habits to offer dynamic pricing, promotions, etc.

Planning Optimization

Preset the entire demand planning and order management process through the order management system (OMS), distributed order management (DOM) applications, predictive analytics, and warehouse systems along with the end-to-end value chain, including ecosystem partners for last-mile delivery.

Hybrid-Scalability Using Cloud & Edge Computing

A broad multi-service infrastructure umbrella including cloud, edge computing, software-defined networks (LAN), customer identity access management (CIAM), and optimized cybersecurity enables omnichannel online and offline channels.

Omnichannel: Six enabling trends

O2O Hyper-Personalization

Shoppers expect sophisticated levels of personalization from retail brands. Retailers leverage AI, ML, and recommendation engines to predict consumer demand patterns by building on shopper online-to-offline (O2O) data and devising intelligent, insight-enabled marketing services.

Digital Experiential Era

Customer experience (CX) is now the competing factor among retailers. Accessibility, ease of use, knowledge of sales staff, and ambient factors of AR/VR and decor of retail stores are aspects of CX. Technology actions, tracks, and enhances its impact to provide personalized shopping experiences.

Social & Metaverse Commerce

Social and 3D commerce paves the next wave of growth with the direct-to-avatar (D2A) commerce through Web 3.0, NFT, and cryptocurrency. It offers retailers, brands, and shoppers instant delight. Transitioning smoothly across channels will advance social proofing and gamification opportunities.

Smart Store Hub

Smart store hubs leverage the IoT to enable retailers to monetize key customer insights. With data-driven innovative solutions, stores gather deeper insights into buyer engagement, optimal floor navigation paths, and hot zones for contactless checkout to provide online fulfillment using a combination of computer vision and sensor fusion technology to automate the payment at checkout.

New Operative Models

The pandemic forced retailers into digital transformation and strengthened the development of D2A and D2C customer satisfaction via new adapted functions like BOPIS/ROPIS, BOPIL, BOPAC, etc. Online-to-offline channels unlock new avenues for sales impact and customer drive.

Warehouse Automation

Retailers looking for ways to automate their replenishment and fulfillment are assembling highly automated warehouses to create different shopping baskets for customers. Delivery and fulfillment will see autonomous vehicles and wireless fleet management that distribute goods.

Omnichannel: Guiding principles

#1 Reimagine Customer Journey Maps

Retail models and sales channels are transforming at a rapid pace. Today’s shoppers specifically prefer to shop online – to save time, to get inspiration, to get a comprehensive overview of the wide range of products available, and to compare the prices of different suppliers. They dynamically respond to the situations and are open to new payment, delivery methods, and products.

#2 The Experience Counts

Connected commerce signifies the union of online trade with in-store retail. In the minds of shoppers, the online and offline channels are already a single world, with the smartphone or tablet serving as the connection between them. Variety and convenience when shopping make the purchasing process a real customer experience. For example, the checkout-free supermarkets of Amazon Go in the US set new standards for convenience in retail.

#3 Data is the Rocket Fuel

To stay viable, retailers must keep their databases up to date and at the same time must be able to evaluate customers based on a variety of parameters. The retailers respond to the needs of the customers, who want to have access to products online and offline. For this reason, there needs to be greater investment in process optimization and data streams. The main tasks here are the mobilizing, clustering, analysis, and merging of big data. Added to this is information about the shopper, previous orders, and items added to wish lists. With this data, retailers can offer customers the right deal at the right time across channels. Not only swiftness is critical for the shopper but also convenience and service.

#4 Align Data-Gathering Practices and Consumer Preferences

As data privacy and security are becoming more important to today’s consumers, retailers need to be more disciplined in collecting data, restricting their information requests to data that is useful in improving the quality of products or services or understanding their customers and target market. Transparency is the most important factor because customer trust forms the basis for a lasting customer relationship.

#5 Harness Relevant Technology to Meet Consumer Expectations

While many consumers are embracing new technologies, they do so with the expectation that they will deliver benefits such as an improved customer experience when searching for goods online, shopping and checking out, or making product or order inquiries. Retailers need to offer a broad range of payment solutions, both online and offline, as well as convenient delivery options. As consumers become more used to digital commerce, their expectations grow, challenging retailers and brands to constantly improve their game.

#6 Integrate Online-to-Offline (O2O) Channels

Today’s consumer sees the shopping journey very differently than previous generations. They expect a seamless integration of range, inventory, and pricing, whether browsing online or offline. If retailers are selling a product across multiple channels, they must entirely integrate physical stores and online channels with social media strategies that create a comprehensive brand proposition.

#7 Tailor Products, Services, and Marketing for Gen Z and Other Demographic Groups

Generation Z – the first born into a constantly connected world – has different expectations of customer experience, yet not many retailers have a comprehensive strategy to optimize engagement with them. Brands and retailers should examine how to better target Gen Z and other consumer segments through data-driven research as well as differentiated product and service offerings.

#8 Global Expansion and Localization

Retailers need to carefully think through their localization strategy when expanding globally, which may include operating in multiple languages, working with local logistics partners and e-commerce marketplaces, and tailoring marketing strategies for local social media and digital channels.

An industry strategic foresight trends report.

About Info-Tech

Info-Tech Research Group is the world’s fastest-growing information technology research and advisory company, proudly serving over 30,000 IT professionals.

We produce unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. We partner closely with IT teams to provide everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, ensuring they deliver measurable results for their organizations.

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your IT problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Talk to an Analyst

Our analyst calls are focused on helping our members use the research we produce, and our experts will guide you to successful project completion.

Book an Analyst Call on This Topic

You can start as early as tomorrow morning. Our analysts will explain the process during your first call.

Get Advice From a Subject Matter Expert

Each call will focus on explaining the material and helping you to plan your project, interpret and analyze the results of each project step, and set the direction for your next project step.

Unlock Sample Research


Rahul Jaiswal


  • Jean-Michel Kientz, SVP, Technology Lead, The Estée Lauder Companies
  • Ghislain Vathelot, General Manager & CIS, Generix Group, Accentis CIS
  • Craig Patterson, Founder and Co-Editor-in-Chief,
  • Rajiv Shankar, Chief Information Officer, REDTAG
  • Nastaran Bisheban, Chief Technology Officer, KFC
  • Chandan Mahajan, Co-Founder & CGO, DotKonnekt
  • Cherokee Chamorro, Client Leader
  • Sajid Saiyed, UX Leadership
  • 2 Anonymous Contributors

Search Code: 99335
Last Revised: August 12, 2022

Visit our IT Cost Optimization Center
Over 100 analysts waiting to take your call right now: 1-519-432-3550 x2019