With the explosion of e-commerce, consumer demands are reforming the retail landscape and how customers expect to interact with sellers. Omnichannel retailing is a system set up for customers to research, discover, engage, and get post-purchase support for products using whatever channel they want. This experience is aimed at putting customers at the core of your business.
Before smartphones became mainstream, the traditional retailer operated as a brick-and-mortar store, with perhaps an online shop and sometimes a social media account. But what they fail to do is unify their customer’s experience across the board. Customers are without a profile, a purchase history and cannot research products or engage with representatives other than in-store, via mail, or phone calls. In sum, traditional retailers are not customer-centric and are limited to regular business hours.
Omni-channel commerce blurs the boundaries between different sales and marketing channels to create a unique integrated whole. It accounts for the spillover between channels and offers the same customer experience within and between channels.
In essence, Omnichannel commerce puts customers in the driver’s seat as they go through their purchasing journey. It unifies the physical location, website, emails, targeted ads, and social media marketing into a single view/experience and provides data for merchants to support them at every touchpoint.
The e-commerce space skyrocketed in 2020 and is attributable to the pandemic that hit the globe early last year. An online presence, like a social media page, e-commerce store, and search engine optimization, helps your business get found by more shoppers looking for your service or products. You offer both locally and around the globe.
Omni-channel retail increases your discoverability at every touchpoint. Through social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, google my business, you have a way to turn engagement into sales. You can create meaningful interaction and increase awareness with relevant buyers and translate that into more sales either through an online or physical store.
Having an online store alongside your physical store helps you expand your customer base to include those too far to visit your store. Selling online allows local shoppers to check out your store hours, reviews, and stock level conveniently. You also give shoppers various options for purchase and pick up like, Buy online pick in-person (BOPIS) or the choice to deliver or ship their parcel.
For a successful digital commerce experience, Omni-channel customer service plays an important role. Retailers can provide an engaging experience by blending multiple feedback avenues like social media, live chats, website reviews, and more to improve brand trust and enable customers to make an informed decision on the go and anytime.
Leveraging Omni-channel services, merchants can further open a window of opportunity to cross-sell and up-sell. With a feature like instant QR code generation for product pages, customers can visit the web page on their mobile phones, explore the products or continue their purchase journey online.
Making sense of data from a customer’s purchase journey can be quite a challenge. Having a connection point of sales system and e-commerce platform means all your customers’ inventory and sales data are stored and updated in real-time across your channels. Customers get total inventory transparency when shopping your store online, and purchases made online are synced to their purchase history across all channels assuring customers of the same quality service at every touchpoint.
For merchants, customers’ inventory and data are stored accurately across channels. A secure ecosystem is created where data collected from every retail touchpoint is stored. When coming up with sales strategy, marketing approach, and audience segmentation, using the insights provided by your Omnichannel POS solution, retailers can use the information to devise effective targeted marketing campaigns.
Retail business that prioritizes building a seamless Omni-channel business benefit from better brand awareness and more profitable relationship with customers. This is owed to the fact that customers value convenience and reward merchants who make their lives easier with their hard-earned coins.
Omnichannel is a customer-centered business model. Examine your target customers and more what channels they use.
Conduct comprehensive research on how your customers typically buy your products. You can build and send out surveys to your mailing list. Ask them discovery questions like ‘How did you discover our brand’, ‘Which option best describes how you shop.” This will help you understand what type of shopping journey your customers enjoy, and will help you build an experience that is right for them.
Note: Omnichannel retail is not about being everywhere. It is about being where your customers are
If you want to position yourself for success, your POS System should do more than ring up sales. It should manage every aspect of your business, from inventory management to customer relationship management and beyond.
Going Omnichannel will mean your store will always be open to your customers, and you do not want that to mean you are stuck in your physical location to manage all channels. If you want to be Omni-channel, you will need a cloud-based that way you can check reports, order
new stocks and keep yourself updated anywhere you are.
Make sure that your Omni-channel strategy aligns with both your digital and physical store operations. This means if personalized shopping is a big part of your customer’s experience in-store, the same needs to be adapted digitally possibly through AR& VR.
For a truly unified omnichannel experience, your e-commerce platform should be fully integrated with the POS system you use for your physical store location (Presta Shop)
A homogeneous customer experience across channels hinges on accurate inventory and transparency at every touchpoint. Whether they are checking your stock on your website or your Google business profile, customers should see the same inventory level you see in your POS system back end.
Customers expect an omnichannel experience. Not offering an experience that puts customers in charge of their experience may harm your brand especially considering our fast-paced world has become.
Prepare for the future with confidence. Go omnichannel with the right retail software. Want to learn how ICG omnichannel commerce platform can help you get there? Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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