To be everywhere is a new motto of businesses.
Alarmists have heralded the death of brick-and-mortar, as online shopping continues to dominate and technology continues to reform the way we shop. According to a 2017 survey from BigCommerce, 51% think shopping online is best, while 49% prefer shopping in-store. But instead of rolling over physical stores and debating on which one is better, what if we integrate both online and offline shopping?
Omni-channel shopping is an experience that extends the stream from brick-and-mortar shops to just one click away. This fully integrated approach to commerce provides shoppers a unified experience across mobile browsing, e-commerce marketplaces, onsite storefronts, social media, and everything in between.
Here are four tactics to elevate the consumer experience of omnichannel:
Click and Collect
The click-and-collect program is gaining momentum, offering the convenience of online shopping without having to wait for items to ship. Orders are placed online and picked up at a local branch. So far, clothing retailer Zara recently launched a click-and-collect pop-up store in London. Well, another brownie point is, according to Lowe’s, 40% of the customers who come to pick up their online order from the store often end up adding more to their cart.
Shipping from store
In an effort to better serve their online customers, omnichannel retailers can ship-from-store to fulfill online orders by delivering from nearby stores rather than far-off warehouses. This will keep their customers contented as they receive their items faster, at a reduced shipping cost.
Innovative Pricing incentives
The most impressive tactic is ‘pricing incentives’ where omnichannel retailers can increasingly experiment to leverage their brick-and-mortar shops to generate revenue through online channels. Here, customers can receive a discount on products that the retail giant offers ‘online-only’. For instance, Wal-Mart advertised a ‘Pick-up Discount’ on 10,000 products which were to be ordered online. This generated whooping big revenue in one-go.
High Customer Retention
Winning a consumer’s attention and loyalty in a competitive market is not easy. And keeping them intact is even harder. Through the omnichannel strategy, sellers can manage customer relationships across all channels and influence their loyalty towards the brand. For customers, it’s nice to be distinguished and greeted in each channel they use. Seamless flow on customers’ journey empowers them to interact with the company in a better way. And a quick response to a consumer’s demand increases overall customer satisfaction.
To summarize, as behemoths like Amazon and Flipkart become more focused on the discipline behind omnichannel, consumer expectations will change and there will be no looking back. Five years from now, single-channel retail and marketing may become obsolete. Hence, the good news is, this is the right time for modern retailers to cash in and ride on the omnichannel wave.