Skip to content

How omnichannel allows brands to engage with an increasingly remote workforce

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed almost every business model across the globe including the retail sector as consumer shopping patterns have been altered by changes in remote work and the demands of social distancing.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed almost every business model across the globe including the retail sector as consumer shopping patterns have been altered by changes in remote work and the demands of social distancing. Hybrid and remote working is now the norm and the ripple effect has caused a migration from the traditional brick and mortar purchasing model toward online and omnichannel sales. This change in shopping habits has presented challenges, but also opportunities for retail enterprises to adapt in order to capture market share by engaging with these new shopping patterns.

Salecycle has suggested that in 2020 there were two peak hours for online shopping- between 10am to 11am as well as 8pm to 9pm. However, with consumers now working remotely, online shopping patterns are more evenly spread than ever before and this impacts retail enterprises as they increasingly leverage in-store products for order fulfilment.

The key challenge is engagement – how can you engage with a workforce successfully when it is potentially scattered across the world? And how can businesses continue this engagement as workforces grow more and more remote?

COVID-19 Changed the Way We Shop

The COVID-19 pandemic ultimately changed the way that consumers shop. In fact, research from Retail Week found that 60% of consumers stated their shopping habits had changed during the pandemic. With much of the globe under lockdown and social distancing restrictions for over a year, the shopping experience shifted dramatically. The ways that customers engaged with retailers during the pandemic are now solidified and retailers will need to continue to lean into these patterns in order to meet customer expectations moving forward.

The pandemic has caused an apparent rise in online shopping, and digital adoption in general, so it’s no surprise that the popularity of Buy-Online-Pickup-In-Store (BOPIS), Buy-Online-Return-In-Store (BORIS), and subsequently RFID are rising in retail. During the lockdowns, being able to purchase online and then collect or return in-store became a heavily relied upon option for consumers, enabling them to shop from the comfort and safety of their own homes. RFID technology and the rise in its usage is a by-product of this demand for BOPIS and BORIS, as it has provided enhanced inventory accuracy and visibility of inventory to facilitate effective omnichannel execution.

The Flexibility of BOPIS & BORIS

From an RFID and retail-specific perspective, the growth of BOPIS and BORIS is enhancing the flexibility of the shopping experience which caters to a remote workforce and shoppers who may be reluctantly returning to stores. With the ability to purchase items online, and then pick up or return them in-store at the consumer’s convenience, BOPIS and BORIS functionality is becoming a key growth point in post-pandemic retail, with many retailers finding this to be an excellent way of managing returning customers and embracing the new shopping experience.

The rise of BOPIS and BORIS realistically follows in line with global changes in the way people shop, work, and operate. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, more activities have taken place from within the confines of an employee’s home. BOPIS and BORIS solutions enable a far more convenient shopping process, giving customer’s flexibility in how they shop, receive their products, and make purchases.

Ultimately, businesses that can remain ahead of the curve and embrace remote working – and subsequently remote shopping – will feel the biggest benefits and will enhance their engagement with an increasingly remote workforce. Connecting with and consistently executing an omnichannel selling strategy will grow customer engagement and allow retailers to move forward with increased sales and profitability as they see shifting patterns of remote work and learning as an opportunity for growth.

To find out how RFID technology can help engage your customers better, contact info@sml-rfid.com.