Technology has infiltrated every aspect of our lives and today’s consumers possess more internet-connected devices than ever before. Laptops, tablets, phones and smart watches have made our lives easier and our connections more seamless, and this includes the shopping experience.
This is central to the omnichannel movement for retailers; a multi-channel approach to marketing, selling and serving customers that integrates the shopping experience, regardless of connection method. It comes as no surprise that retailers increasingly have numerous shopping channels, especially when you consider that shoppers who utilize multiple channels are shown to spend 14% more than single-channel shoppers.
Consumers demand having access to their favorite brands online. Nowadays, customers are flabbergasted when a brick and mortar retailer lacks a robust online presence.
Retailers no longer stand out by having multi-channel shopping, but retailers exhibiting flawless experiences across every customer touchpoint do. In this post, we’ll discuss 6 secrets leading companies employ for omnichannel retail success.
1. The Consumer Comes First
When developing an omnichannel approach the focus should initially be on the consumer, not media. Advertising teams shouldn’t fixate on the best channel for their marketing, but rather what channel is best for the consumer to experience that marketing.
But a perfect omnichannel experience is more than just the channel of communication — it’s about the customer experience. What’s important is that the customer encounter sophisticated, personalized and coordinated media, or a positive experience overall.
2. Secure Sponsorship
Investments of significant time and money are necessary for becoming a customer-centric, omnichannel retailer and this starts in the boardroom.
Some business leaders may already view an omnichannel retail strategy as the only way to stay competitive, but CEOs and directors must also be onboard in order to be successful. Therefore, you should communicate a business case that aligns with return on investment.
3. Find Your Audience
Once everyone’s on the same page and there’s backing for an omnichannel strategy, you need to identify your audience.
By amassing customer data, retailers can start to paint a picture of where their customers are. Where do they go for inspiration and discovery? Where do they shop? This crucial information allows retailers to scale back ineffective channels and instead focus funds on the more profitable ones.
An effective omnichannel retail strategy, like a good investment portfolio, should be diverse. More specifically, it should be as diverse as customer shopping preferences. Interestingly, 73% of shoppers use multiple channels to make a purchase, which means a lot of shoppers do online research before making an in-store purchase.
Furthermore, of those shoppers researching or buying online and then heading to a store to purchase or pick up, 50% noted high shipping costs or immediate need as the reasons behind their purchasing decisions. Alternatively, those purchasing online without ever visiting a store cited convenience, time spent and low-cost delivery as incentive to shop online.
The key takeaway here is that it’s not easy to divide customers by those who shop online and those that shop in store. To meet the many needs of all of their customers, retailers must develop a diverse omnichannel strategy.
5. Make All Channels Shoppable
A diverse online presence that spans multiple forms of technology is a fine start, but all customer touchpoints must also be shoppable to have a truly effective omnichannel strategy.
If the majority of customers are making discoveries about a brand on Instagram, then the liked and shared posts should also be shoppable.
Viewers can find products through tags on shoppable Instagram posts, directing the viewer to the product website when tapped, and allowing potential buyers to move seamlessly from discovery to conversion.
6. Make Channel Transitions Seamless
Once you have the shoppable channels needed to be successful, making the transitions between these channels seamless is the last step to perfecting your omnichannel approach.
For example, smooth omnichannel experiences include online purchasing with immediate in-store pickup and options for having items shipped to customers to try on when online shopping.
Disney is one leading company with a polished omnichannel experience; from mobile trip planning to interactive park apps with live wait times, Disney’s established a truly seamless experience for their customers. And at the end of the day, brands like Disney compete exclusively on the strength of their customer experiences.
To have a successful omnichannel retail strategy, you must understand the needs and preferences of your consumers. Moreover, you should design experiences to meet those needs, while delivering seamless interactions through technology.