A few years ago, no one would believe that retail shopping can be related to web stores, smartphones, and social platforms. In the age of digital transformation and technological advancements, retail has found a way to survive. Yes, in-store shopping is still popular. It’s being improved and provides a much more convenient experience than traditional shopping.
Shoppers are now able to compare products, check prices, or research reviews, all in-store, before deciding whether they want the product or not. If your retail business is not available worldwide, this could significantly affect the user experience.
That’s where omnichannel retail comes in hand. You’ve probably heard of it before. It was first a buzzword but has now grown into a tactical strategy for staying in business. According to Harvard Business Review, an “omnichannel strategy is a panacea for a difficult environment.”
They’ve studied the shopping behavior of 46,000 customers and found out that 73% of them used multiple channels during their shopping journey. Such consumers are called omnichannel customers.
In this article, we’re going to have a detailed look at the what, why, and where of in-store shopping and focus on the creation of a successful omnichannel retail strategy.
What Is An Omni-Channel Retail Strategy?
An omnichannel strategy is a marketing and sales approach, which provides customers with a next-level, fully integrated shopping experience. It combines physical user experience with mobile apps and browsing.
An excellent omnichannel strategy should give your customers the ability to browse products in-store through a mobile app or website and add them to their cart for purchasing later. You could also enable them to go through Pinterest for inspiration or provide loyalty programs in your mobile app, which can be used in-store.
Furthermore, omnichannel is the biggest, if not the only weapon that high growth retail brands have against giants such as Amazon. Companies make real progress after implementing such strategies. Multiple channels are now needed to satisfy continually increasing customer demands.
The only downside of omnichannel is that it takes some significant investments and lots of time to achieve the best results. However, it’s much more than having a pleasant store on top of a multichannel eCommerce platform. It’s about providing a consistent experience, something that will soon be crucial for overcoming the fierce competition and stay in the eCommerce business.
Why Is An Omni-Channel Retail Strategy Crucial?
As we already mentioned, shoppers seem to love when there’s an integrated omnichannel experience available in the stores they typically choose to shop. It makes them spend more time in-store and online as well, which means a higher level of engagement. Higher engagement levels lead to increased sales.
The seamless transition between channels could retain most of your customers. Just like physical stores take their business online, digital retailers, such as Amazon, take their marketplace into the physical world. We’re talking about AmazonFresh. It allows you to order groceries on it and pick them up at your local store.
If you think it’s time to build your omnichannel retail strategy, we’re here to give you some guidelines.
Developing an Omni-Channel Retail Strategy
Here are some steps to follow when developing your omnichannel retail strategy:
Know Your Customers
To have the perfect omnichannel eCommerce strategy, you need to be aware of your customers’ likings and which platforms and devices they use daily. Having this information will help you optimize your budget in the best way possible. The easiest way to analyze this data is by having a look at the most popular channels for your eCommerce business at Google Analytics’ acquisition reports. These will show you which places bring most people to your website.
Performing in-depth customer research could also show you the most common path shoppers take before making a purchase. It will provide you with a general knowledge of the most critical touchpoints, and once you have it, you’ll need to:
Make Every Touchpoint Shoppable
Every time a consumer interacts with your company, no matter in-store, on your mobile app or website, you have to be able to make a sale. Even when they scroll through their social media, you need to provide them with personalized offers based on their activity on your channels.
Stores could now be integrated directly into your social media pages, which enables followers to check out products natively. All of your channels have to be connected, and every touchpoint should be shoppable.
Connect Online And Offline
Filling the gap between online and offline is essential. Having a presence on all channels isn’t enough. Maybe it once was, but today customers often don’t make a purchase instantly, because of all the information they have access to.
If a customer is going to visit your store, they’d previously like to know what’s in stock, for instance. They have to be able to purchase an item while they’re on their way and pick it up when they arrive.
Seamless user experience from online to offline and vice versa could multiply the return on your omnichannel investment. A successful strategy won’t focus on a single destination. Instead, perfect synchronization between all platforms is needed to facilitate the buying experience.
Omni-Channel Is The Future Of Retail
An omnichannel strategy is a new norm for retail. Modern consumers hit multiple touchpoints before finalizing a purchase. If you don’t cover all the platforms your customers use, you’re probably missing out on great opportunities to make more sales.
The tips we’ve listed above will help you to develop an effective omnichannel retail strategy. Offer your customers the best user experience possible, and they’ll keep returning.