When it comes to marketing strategies, let’s be thankful to the people who keep on inventing new ones. Especially to the one who discovered omnichannel retailing. It’s been a making a buzz and real companies are getting a lot through it. In fact, a Harvard Business Review Survey can prove that claim. So what is it exactly? Let’s talk about that in this post.
What is a channel?
Before we get to the important part of discovering what omnichannel is in retailing, allow me to explain what a channel is. To put it simply, it is actually a medium through which a brand is able to communicate with its customers. In terms of marketing, it could be anything from a brand’s website, its physical stores, a billboard, or even the product’s packaging. In terms of customer contact, a channel could be anything from emails to phone calls, live chat, or video calling.
What is Omnichannel Retailing?
Omnichannel retailing is an approach providing consumers with a consistent experience as they interact with your brand across different but unified channels. Again, these channels may include your physical store, your website, social media platforms, third-party marketplaces, etc. In this approach, your brand doesn’t have to be everywhere, only where your customers are.
To further understand, here’s an example: One of your customers visits your website on a computer looking for new shoes but decides not to buy it at that time. It was just added to a cart. Later, while browsing Facebook on mobile, he saw your ad with a coupon they can use toward that shirt on your website. What’s good about it is that it’s still there in the cart even if he’s on his mobile now. So he ends up purchasing. During checkout, he chooses to pick up the purchase at your physical store location. In this example, your customer interacts with your business through three different touchpoints and has a seamless and consistent experience at each one. They are all connected if you’ll notice. The customer doesn’t need to repeat himself in those touchpoints.
An omnichannel approach essentially positions consumers at the forefront of its strategy. It agrees that mobile and social not only made it possible for consumers to switch between platforms easily but also use them simultaneously.
In a recent study reported in Harvard Business Review, approximately 46,000 customers were surveyed about every aspect of their shopping journey with a retailer. And with a special emphasis on which channels they used and why.
Only 7% of the participants were online-only shoppers, while 20% were store-only shoppers. The remaining 73% used multiple channels throughout their shopping journey. The study showed that customers loved using multiple omnichannel touchpoints.
Omnichannel shoppers also tend to shop more and show more loyalty. So to put the whole thing in a nutshell, consumers engage more with omnichannel retailers, spend more money with them. Omnichannel retailers also have more loyal customers that are coming back more often to the physical store.
Retailers with physical stores have to take the power provided by the online world as an opportunity by integrating physical and digital spheres into an omnichannel format that provides shoppers with a seamless and consistent experience. Those e-commerce businesses using multi-channel should do so too. Doing so will differentiate your business from your competitors and increase your store sales