Savant Talks: Bridging the gap between online & offline

Ahead of Savant eCommerce Barcelona, we had the pleasure of having a chat with Carolina Agudo Lazareno, EMEA Digital and Ecommerce Manager at Havaianas, about omnichannel strategies and the future of retail. Here’s what we talked about.
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How can retailers bridge the gap between online and offline?

Well, the idea is that the customer should be able to buy everything he wants everywhere he wants, no? I’m exaggerating a bit, but for us, as for many other brands, this is definitely where we are looking at. In the Havaianas case though, we have to face even more challenges to achieve this vision as many of our store are seasonal and only a few stores in Europe are permanent, so services like click and collect would be available only for certain areas and cities, where the permanent stores are located. One big opportunity we’re digging into is to ship directly from the stores, for instance.

Being able to ship products from the different stores would be a huge advantage for our customers, allowing us to reduce the delivery time by a significant portion, with the aim to achieve same day delivery. Ideally, people should come to our store to find products they like and if there’s no size or colour availability, we want to be able to ship them directly from one of the stores where the product is available. When it comes to creating omnichannel experiences, I think brands should think thoroughly about what this means and entails for them, considering their brand proposition, product and positioning, and only then decide the services you want to implement. Too often brands  talk about omichannel without considering what strategies in the omnichannel realm, could be a fit for them.

omnichannel strategies
Havaianas pop-up store in Selfridges, Manchester

Indeed, which omnichannel platforms and solutions should retailers be looking at?

As I just mentioned, the first step should always be the definition of the omnichannel services that fit the specific brand and its business! Before selecting the tools, platforms and integrations, which is a lot of time and investment, the brand needs to have clear what are the omnichannel services that it wants to offer based on its client needs.

Once this is crystal clear, then the brand will start selecting the right platforms and mediums, be it eCommerce platforms, marketplaces, loyalty programmes, marketing campaigns etc. Let me give you some examples: for eCommerce and Retail there’s the need to integrate the online store with the rest of the softwares of the company like POS, ERP, CRM, etc. For the Marketing department, the company will need a Marketing Automation Tool to be omnichannel, while for Loyalty programs the brand will need an omnichannel software to integrate as well with the rest of the systems of the company.

So it’s not just a matter of tools, but also of integrations: the integration with all the companies systems and the technical work that comes along with it’s just the last step, but it’s definitely a crucial one.

How are we going to shop in 2025? What will the store of the future look like?

Let’s start by saying that stores won’t disappear. People like shopping, they like to enjoy the experience to go shopping, visiting stores, seeing and trying products and so on. I’m quite sure that customers will expect much more from brands, in particular when it comes to the services they offer, the facilitation to purchase, to return and so on, making omnichannel services a must. 

I also think the stores will be the perfect place to discover the brand, to experience it. A lot of experiential activities will happen in the stores, events, AR, VR, etc.

Nowadays some stores have a coffee shop inside the store, some others offer free tasting of the product in a very chill out atmosphere. We even see stores and pop up stores with no merch in it! The idea behind this is to vehiculate an experience that reflects the brand, hence I believe that stores will still be the place to discover and enjoy the brand and its products. Omnichannel strategies will be even more crucial for the retail experience as all types of “selling” tools and options will be available in the future: buy and take it, order and deliver, purchase and pick up, and more we probably can’t even imagine now!

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