TECH BUYER Mar 2022 - IDC Perspective - Doc # US48903822

Reporting from NRF: Retail Technology to Support Profitable Hybrid Shopping Experiences


Jordan K. Speer

This IDC Perspective discusses themes addressed at the 2022 NRF Big Show. Hybrid omni-channel experiences open opportunities to please the consumer in new ways, but they also add significant expense and complexity, as consumers demand and expect to be able to browse, buy, and receive goods anytime, from anyplace. The challenges of hybrid shopping were a focus of the 2022 NRF Big Show. This IDC Perspective explores in more depth a few of the technologies that enable hybrid shopping and that address the challenges created by its complexity.

"Hybrid experiences are here to stay and evolving in many ways, including into the metaverse," said Jordan K. Speer, research manager, Product Sourcing, Fulfillment, and Sustainability at IDC. "While most consumers, unless they are gamers, are not yet at the point of spending money to outfit an online avatar, they are nonetheless moving between online and offline at whim and expect retailers to accommodate those hybrid omni-channel journeys seamlessly."

"Today, consumer demands related to hybrid shopping have accelerated around last mile and include experiences such as shopping online and picking up in-store or curbside or shopping in-store and returning merchandise online. Hybrid shopping is made up of an almost endless variety of customer journeys that include adding items to your BOPIS purchase when you arrive at the store or communicating with the third-party delivery service that's picking and delivering your groceries to approve a substitution. Retailers must be able to meet these customer expectations while also achieving profitability. It's a tall task," said Speer.



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