Mie Hjordt

Why omnichannel in retail is good business

Omnichannel is about giving your customers a consistent cross-channel experience, thus improving the customer experience. The key is integrating the various touchpoints that the customers encounter on their purchase journey with the technical solutions that ensure that prices, selection, and pick-up options are the same across channels.

Omnichannel in retail

 

Customers have changed their shopping behavior. They shop across channels and do not distinguish between physical and online stores. The customer journey is, therefore, no longer a series of actions that can be listed chronologically. A possible customer journey could be a customer using his computer to check if a given item is in stock in the nearest physical store via the company's website. After which the customer buys the item either on his phone or tablet to eventually pick up the item at the chosen location - also known as Click & Collect. In this situation, the integration of the company's various channels plays an important role, which is why omnichannel is not only a buzz word, but a tool for running a profitable business.


Control your omnichannel strategy


A good omnichannel strategy is essential, with customers increasingly researching and shopping online today. Omnichannel is a development of multichannel or cross channel, which is basically about using multiple platforms. In contrast to multichannel and cross channel, omnichannel is not only about the number of platforms, but also about the integration between them.

Omnichannel is not about being present everywhere, but about being where your customers are and giving them a consistent experience wherever they meet your store. They need to be able to buy your items when they need them, where they need them, and at the exact time they need them. Therefore, it is essential to establish a connection between touchpoints. For example, if a customer receives a push notification through your app with a good offer, it is important that the offer is also available when the customer visits your webshop or physical store.

Uniformity and recognizability are vital when customers navigate between you and your competitors. With an omnichannel solution, you build a unified trading platform where the systems are all integrated. If the cash register in your store is integrated with the same inventory and price management system as your webshop, then you are already well on your way.

The more channels you have, the more complicated your setup will be. Managing pricing structures, campaigns, and distribution can be complicated, but if you make sure you have a backend solution to manage the complexity, you will not only make daily work easier for your employees in your stores - you will also make it simple for the customers.

 

Omnichannel provides a better bottom line


It may seem as a daunting task, getting all your touchpoints to connect, but it makes good sense to spend time on it. A study by marketing firm Criteo shows that customers who use multiple channels often spend more money.

With the right omnichannel solution and a good omnichannel strategy, you can learn a lot about your customers' cross-channel behavior. By gathering valuable knowledge about their behavior, you can learn things such as: what items they are looking at, buying patterns, and where potential customers stop their buying process.

With the acquired knowledge, you can tailor offers and thereby strengthen the relationship between you and your customers and increase the chances that a customer prefers you over others. If you need more inspiration and concrete examples to get you started, look here. Remember to be realistic in your planning of a new omnichannel strategy and divide the implementation into less manageable chunks to reach all around. It's not an easy task, but certainly a necessary task if you want to survive in a retail market full of expectant customers.

Omnichannel is about giving your customers a consistent cross-channel experience, thus improving the customer experience. The key is integrating the various touchpoints that the customers encounter on their purchase journey with the technical solutions that ensure that prices, selection, and pick-up options are the same across channels. 

 

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