4 Methods That Innovative Companies Use Omnichannel Retail.
Nowadays , we are experiencing a shift in the shopping habits of consumers. Gone were the days when brick and mortar stores rule the retail industry. There was a time when shoppers have to touch and try on the products before they purchase it. Not anymore. It has become less of a concern for the millennial consumer. Instead, social media presence, brand coverage and lifestyle affinity wins the loyalty of these new breed of consumers.
We can call them the young and the restless, the millennials and Gen Z. Brands often struggle to attract and retain their interests, but data reveals that this new generation of consumers are more loyal than any generational market. The only thing that businesses should do is to provide them with good brand experience and win their loyalty, and one of the solutions is omnichannel retail.
What Is Omnichannel Retail?
The meaning of omnichannel retail is fairly simple. It is an integrated approach to commerce, giving consumers an integrated experience across all touchpoints or channels. An ideal omnichannel shopping experience goes beyond the traditional brick and mortar store, but also through online marketplaces, mobile browsing, social media, or wherever your shoppers browse online.
Traditional retailers should be scared, with good reason. There is no denying that in the past few years, online retail has thrived. And as online retailers expand aggressively, their existential threat to the traditional retailers are becoming greater. So nowadays, the traditional retailers have staked their future through an omnichannel retail solution with good results. In a study of 46,000 shoppers, only 7% are online-only shoppers, while 20% are store-only shoppers, the remaining 73% uses multiple channels while shopping..
How To Build Your Own Omnichannel Strategy
Every company should develop its own omni-channel infrastructure. There is a need to work closely with departments like Marketing, Product, Sales, and Customer support in order to come-up with a strong strategy. Fortunately, there are omnichannel retail software solutions available in the market that would make the tasks easier. These omnichannel commerce software are flexible and are equipped with point of sale software systems and will help you increase productivity, and more importantly, improve profitability.
The goal is to build an aligned and unified experience for your customers, but more than that, to have an all-in-one retail management system from POS terminals, inventory management, e-commerce, and omni-channel strategies. Since this is just an emerging technology, it’s okay to start small and expand in the future. For some inspiration, here are some innovative methods that companies use omni-channel retail:
4 Methods That Innovative Companies Use Omni-channel Retail
1. Analyze Your Data And Take The Risk
In setting up a new channel, it is best to look and analyze the data of your existing visitors and customers to know how to get started or how to expand. Eyewear maker Warby Parker studied its data and used the locations of their online customers to determine where to build its brick and mortar stores. By doing this, they were able to set up their omni-channel infrastructure smoother and faster. According to Warby Parker co-CEO Neil Blumenthal, “we
are able to conceive an idea, test it, and bring to market within two weeks.”
2. Leverage Your Expertise
Founded in 2007, Bonobos, an independent fashion company, have always been known to connect with their customers in a deeper way. They are experts in email marketing and online branding. In 2012, they partnered with Nordstrom to enable a whole new audience to know them. Bonobos stayed true to their expertise of being true omni-channel experts by opening 75 guideshops, which are stores where visitors can browse and shop online, but they cannot bring any products home. It gives customers the benefit of touch, something that most retail companies haven’t done yet.
3. Personalized Experience
The thing that makes omni-channel click is its ability to give people a seamless shopping experience. Consistency and convenience is critical, but so is excitement. That’s why most omni-channel retailers offer flash sales and other promotions.
Stitch Fix, a fashion retailer, works as stylists to their customers, personalizing their recommendations. They use their own algorithms to choose which clothes its customer would like, and ships those items to them. Customers can then send back clothes they do not like, without any shipping fees. Imagine how customers would feel, literally shopping from the comfort of their homes.
4. Improve In-Store Experience
It’s very important for traditional brick and mortar stores to integrate technology and improve customer experience in-store. For outdoors retailer REI, having known from their data that 75% of their customers visit their website first before making any purchase, they decided to equip their sales staff with mobile devices to help customers in their purchase journey. They also have free Wi-Fi so that customers can check their website and access information while they shop.
Are You Up for the Challenge?
Those are some methods that innovative enterprises leveraged the omni-channel retail and made it work for their business. When moving forward in your own journey in omni-channels, keep them in mind as a guidance to make sure your moving in the right direction. And while most of these changes needs new technology to implement, the more challenging part is the new organizational structures needed, the new method of thinking, and new ways of collaboration. Are you up for the challenge?