Omnipresent Retail
Omnipresent Retail

Have you ever wondered how your two-year old manages to show up everywhere you turn making it inevitable that you bump into them in one form or another? Even when they are not in the same room with you, there is always a plethora of mementos innocently (arguably) left behind to ensure that you don’t forget that they’ve been in that space and walked that path.

Looking at the Merriam Webster dictionary definition of “Omnipresence” – “present in all places at all times” one can conclude that some children have mastered the not-so-subtle art of being omnipresent; and we can’t even begin to explain the immense delight we derive from knowing that our wee-toddlers have mastered this superpower. No?

So what can we learn from this in the retail world? Up until now, mobile has been dubbed the “only” omnipresent channel. Yes, omnipresence, like omnichannel, is a “thing” in retail and it is a concept that suggests that your store is everywhere through eCommerce. The staggering statistics of smartphone adoption in the UK between 2008 and 2018 as shown in the chart below also explains why this assumption could be perceived as a no-brainer since people literally sleep with their mobile phones in their hands.

According to Statista, smartphone ownership amongst adults 16 years and over went from 17% in 2008 to 78% in 2018 (Statista, 2018). In terms of social grades, this statistic for people with higher & intermediate managerial, administrative, professional occupations (AB = ~22% of the UK population (UK Geographics, 2014)) went from 20% to 89%, whilst it went from 13% to 63% for people with semi-skilled & unskilled manual occupations, Unemployed and lowest grade occupations (DE = ~ 26% of the UK population).

This definition of retail omnipresence inherently reserves the omnipresent phenomenon for online retailers when in actual fact, brick and mortar stores should also have unrestricted access to the action without diminishing their business model and brand ethos. Retailers need to quickly recognise the fact that whilst digital could be a superficial battle ground, the underlying battle ground is really the shoppers’ wallets / pockets.

Sueted, an experiential delivery and shopping platform, is blurring the lines between online and offline by giving retailers that exist in both spaces the opportunity to be omnipresent in the same way a delightful two-year old manages to bring a smile to your face every time they show up in the most unexpected places.

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