Omnichannel: the lifeline of the retail industry
Nowadays, the word omnichannel is a very popular term in the retail sector. Many shop owners pay close attention and invest in developing a connection between their physical and digital stores, while many online pure players enter the world of physical stores to get closer and respond to their customers' wishes. The reality is that the rise of omnichannel has a lot to do with experience during the purchasing process and little with in-store technologies.
Today what matters in retail is the shopping experience that is offered to the customer. This shopping experience must be smooth, uniform, and without cracks between various platforms. Retailers should provide good quality service to their customers to boost their sales. Through this article, we will show you the importance and benefits of omnichannel in the retail industry
What is Omni-channel?
For retailers, omnichannel is no longer a choice - it is a necessity for them.
Over the years, marketing strategies have evolved according to the needs and expectations of the customers. At first, consumers used to go to physical stores or event venues and buy what they need. There were also methods of checking product images and specifications on paper media such as flyers, catalogs, and direct mail, and then ordering by postcard or telephone. With the Internet and mobile devices becoming more prevalent, customers can shop anytime, anywhere. Furthermore, with the development of cross-border e-commerce sites, it has become possible to access products sold on websites not only in a particular region but also overseas.
With the diversification of shopping methods, retailers are now adopting an omnichannel system that allows customers to shop anytime, anywhere, and select the method of pick-up. Utilization of omnichannel will increase convenience for customers and prevent opportunities for stores. For example, A customer who wishes to buy an item from a retailer: he will place an order via the latter's website, then confirm his order by text message before coming to collect the purchased goods. Then, he will receive an invoice by email and give his opinion on the goods purchased via the seller's social networks. For the purchase of a single object, the customer can use different communication modes such as:
- Social media Presence
- Outdoor Advertising
Why Omni-channel is considered as future of retail?
There is plenty of reason to say that Omnichannel represents the future of retail, however strong that statement may seem at first. We are in the age of immediacy, and adopting a multichannel strategy is the perfect way to deal with this urgency on the part of the consumer. In other words, this means that people's buying behavior increasingly converges towards integrating the online world with the offline world. Brands that understand this can create more sales and loyalty opportunities. According to Provokers consultancy, 96% of consumers search the Internet before buying a product in a physical store. This indicates how much offline retail operations can benefit from digital strategies. On the other hand, 93% try to see if you can shop online so you don't have to go to a physical store, and 72% have already shopped online from a store they have never visited in person. This data proves a simple truth: The modern customer's buying journey is multi-channel and people's behavior varies significantly. Also, there are people who prefer to shop in person instead of buying online, but all use various channels to reach their ultimate goal.
So the idea of using Omnichannel is not about getting people to shop over the internet. The purpose is to fit the various channels people already use and make it easy for them by using any of the communication means.
Benefits of Omnichannel Strategy
- The omnichannel offers immediacy for both the customer and the store – Both the client and the retailer gets to benefit from the immediacy offered by the omnichannel sale. On one hand, the shopping experience improves considerably, being able to connect with the company by various means and, on the other hand, the company can also get instant feedback from its customers.
- Improve your brand reputation – The more the customer experience meets customer expectations, the more fulfilling it will be. With the omnichannel strategy, this result can be achieved by personalizing the service and communication. In this way, the brand will be able to enjoy a good consideration that will allow it to maintain both loyal customers and to acquire new ones.
- Ensures a unique view of orders and availability – The omnichannel processes allow constant monitoring of availability in the various contact points, from the warehouse to the store. Furthermore, with the amount of acquired data, the retailer can monitor performance and choose which products to supply more according to customer behavior.
Omni-channel is the future of retail. Many retailers have recognized that increasing competition and a new way of thinking on the part of customers make dealing with this topic almost inevitable. However, the economic potential of the new technology should not be underestimated in this context either: Omni-Channel enables consumers to be tied across channels and platforms. In addition, personalized offers and special services such as in-store return or click & collect, attract new customers - especially if the competition has so far overslept the omnichannel era.