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Omnichannel Experience and its Importance for Retailers

May 15, 2018


Over the years, thanks to technology and world wide web, retail marketing has undergone a sea change. It has given consumers many different options in which they can shop apart from physically going to a store. However, for a customer, shopping is an experience, so the expectations from an online store are the same as are from the physical store. The way consumers behave is blurring the differences between various channels. They might not even start and end their shopping process on the same device. As many as '63% shoppers use multiple channels when making orders over £100.' Retail businesses need to create an approach that integrates the various platforms to facilitate a seamless experience for the customer. And this is what Omnichannel is all about.

Importance of Omnichannel for the retailer

Utilizing multiple channels to communicate and reach out to customers in the field of marketing and retail is defined as Omnichannel. The evolving technologies have the retailers trying ways of adapting them into their marketing strategy. Technologies like Twitter, Live Chat, and live video chat have made real-time marketing a necessity. With the omnichannel, retailers are satisfied as more of their offers hit the right mark resulting in increased revenue and growth. To stay ahead in the competition, retailers need to align their goals and messaging for global commerce across the company. The message then is quite clear - invest in technology to cater to potential customers or lose them to a competitor. Retailers must adapt to change at a fast pace to meet the expectations of the customers. The same can be done through a personalized retail approach to each customer. Aspects such as customer engagement, information management, location intelligence solutions can result in improved customer experience. Omnichannel strategy helps retailers deliver a wholesome shopping experience that leads to enhanced customer experience and results in loyalty and higher profits.

Creating the Omnichannel experience

As Omnichannel offers new opportunities, it is crucial that the same needs be capitalized. Retailers need to go step by step:

  • Define goals-Rushing to get the technology will not help unless the goals are clearly outlined, and the technology can bridge the existing gaps.
  • Integrate the channels - It helps to have a strategy for both the online and offline platforms. Retailers need to understand how the channels can affect each another. The idea is to ensure that the experience is the same across all channels.
  • Utilize Data - The overwhelming amount of data that is available needs to be analyzed to understand consumer behavior and preferences. The same data can be used to drive sales in real-time as well.
  • Analyze and Improve - Keep tracking the performance and measuring results to help improve effectiveness. Retailers can use tools to track their campaigns.

Success with Omnichannel Experience


Many businesses have incorporated the same into their marketing strategy and have reaped the benefits. Some companies that have got it right are:

  • Disney, the entertainment giant, has managed to get the concept right down to the smallest of details. The company's website has been designed such that all the features including trip planning, works well on the smartphone. A customer can use the My Disney Experience tool to plan a trip that has been booked to the minutest of details. Once in the park, the app can be used to locate the attractions and check their waiting time. Further, they have launched a Magic Band program that is a tool that can be the hotel room key, photo storage device of customer picture with Disney character, food ordering tool, etc.

 

  • Pepperfry, the online furniture retailer, has successfully integrated the omnichannel experience in its marketing, buying furniture is a complicated process with customers like the Millennials having no prior experience. They want the best quality but have little time to invest in research. Studio Pepperfry is a concept store where customers can interact with interior designers and architects and take their help in the decision making. The professionals offer their advice for customization of design, its relevance in the interior, care and maintenance and other helpful tips that enables the customers to make the right purchase decision. After the final selection of the furniture piece at the studio, the customer can place the order online. Such Studios have accounted for 10-15% of Pepperfry’s sales.

Conclusion

The growth in digital technology has empowered the global retail environment in a big way. The explosion in increased connectivity means that now there is a great deal of data and information on every possible area available for both the customers and businesses alike to exploit. The omnichannel strategy is the way ahead for companies to rise to the challenge and of understanding their customers and to be able to cater to their growing expectations.






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