Poland is becoming an omnichannel land; 61 percent of Polish consumers search for products both online and offline

Posted on 05/07/2019 by Leszek Olszański

Omnichannel, a magic buzzword of modern, digitized retail and HoReCa industries is quickly becoming an everyday reality on the banks of the  Vistula river. Polish consumers extensively use both online and offline channels and are increasingly demanding  their greater integration.

Omnichannel strategy unifies a whole spectrum of shopping and communication channels between a brand and  its customers, that are available in 21-st century. It includes online channels such as websites, mobile applications, social media pages, marketplaces and price comparison engines, as well as offline ones like high street premises, printed ads and much more. The contemporary customer is ever more accustomed to receiving the same, integrated communication through all the channels, regarding products inventory, prices, special offers and sales as well as personalized data like history of purchases, loyalty bonuses and personalised discounts.

According to the latest EY survey of Polish consumers, 66% search for information about products, services and their prices online. 61% of them are fully omnichannel researchers - they search for information via both online and offline channels. About 32% of consumers still only use offline channels. There’s also a growing demographic, around 5% for now, that rely on the internet as their sole source of shopping information.

Predictably, the results vary heavily according to the consumers age bracket. Bigger households with children along with teenagers and younger adults are the groups that most intensively searches for the information using online channels.

For retail companies - from shops to restaurants - omnichannel is both a challenge, and a chance to get ahead of competitors. The number of online product inquiries only partially translates into the number of actual purchases made through this channel. Older consumers and smaller households are more likely to search for products online without actually purchasing products using this method. This produces a significant gap between the population that merely uses internet to gather product information and those people, who dare to complete transactions online. Companies who would find a way to close this gap can expect to make significant market gains. For example about half of elderly households which actively use the internet to get information still do not make purchases using this platform.

Nonetheless the EY survey documents rapid progress in the transition of the Polish retail sector to the digital domain. 57 percent of consumers buy goods and services both offline and online whilst only 47 percent still avoid digital shopping. Polish customers are most reluctant to buy groceries on the internet, only 10 percent do this. On the other hand, the purchase and distribution of the majority of electronic goods now takes place online. Over 71 percent of electronics are bought online.

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