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Retailer Omnichannel Survey uncovers high-performing best practices

Insights into omnichannel trends and issues in middle market retail

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The RSM Retailer Omnichannel Survey was commissioned to gauge the perspectives and characteristics of middle market retailers with functioning omnichannel strategies, not the entire retail industry. As a result, not all segments of the industry are included, as not all retail sectors lend themselves to a true multichannel experience. This is what drives the wide disparity in reporting online sales, which have been reported as low as 8 percent of total retail sales and as high as 50 percent, depending on the sectors included in the calculations.

Retailers surveyed reported significant growth. Participants have averaged a 36 percent increase in total sales volume in the past 12 months (with a median 28 percent increase)—this comes in the same year in which overall retail sales increased by just 3.8 percent. More impressive, perhaps, is the fact that they also reported a 40 percent increase in new customers during this period (with a median 33 percent increase), suggesting that employing a multichannel strategy allowed them to reach customers they did not previously attract. Most importantly, in this slow growing economy, this increase largely represents a shift in market share.

Given these results, it’s understandable that almost one in four retailers surveyed expect to increase their current omnichannel investment by more than 20 percent in the next 12 months and the group is expecting an average 27 percent sales increase in the next 12 months as a result (with a median 20 percent increase)–during a period in which economists are predicting only 3 to 4 percent growth in the economy. 

The perspectives of retail executives proficient in omnichannel practices provide rare insight into the retail industry. The analysis provided here is designed to spark discussion that can help drive middle market retail companies forward in the months and years to come.