In a market as competitive as the retail sector today, with so many physical stores and more and more online, there is a concept that should be known: omnichannel. The goal of any business is to survive this era and stand out from the rest. To do this, it is essential to understand customers and adapt to their specific needs.
If you are also dedicated to retail, you will be interested to know what an omnichannel strategy is and what benefits it brings you in sales. And it has become a fundamental pillar to achieving business success, especially after the pandemic experienced.
In recent years, you have to know a series of consumer attitudes have been established first and then consolidated. It would help if you addressed these challenges with better tools and processes than your competitors. You know what the motto says: “Innovate or die”. The first option seems more convenient…
What does an omnichannel strategy look like?
Omnichannel implies the integration of all marketing and communication channels of a business. In the case of retail, it refers to your physical business and your electronic business, which must be joined. This, with the optimum availability of the different communication channels :
- Online store contact form
- Social networks
- In-person customer service
Going from theory to practice consists of your ability as a merchant to relate to your public by any means. Omnichannel offers your customers an interconnected shopping experience. It doesn’t matter if they buy the products online and from their mobile device and then pick them up at your establishment, for example.
An omnichannel strategy differs from multichannel in that all sales channels are fully integrated and share information, whether from your business or your customers. Therefore, they do not act independently, as in the multichannel system. If an online shopper comes to your store, you can instantly check the data you record about him by telling you his name and surname.
Why is it so important to launch this marketing action? Because it focuses on the customer and not on getting the most out of each channel independently of the others. With an omnichannel strategy, you eliminate the barriers between the different channels to offer unique purchases to differentiate yourself from your competition.
In addition, the focus also falls on the quality of the service you provide. A good customer experience includes accessing your e-commerce from anywhere and from a computer, smartphone or tablet. Therefore, you must ensure the proper Optimization of your virtual store for all types of devices.
The rest of the processes also have to be satisfactory: from the presentation of each product, with its characteristics and images, to the guarantee of security in payments.
Advantages of omnichannel in retail
You must ensure that your store is attractive, comfortable and valuable for buyers, whether traditional or online. In the same way, communications through different channels must respond to their expectations. All this is essential so that, in return, you obtain the advantages of omnichannel in retail :
- Adaptation to customer needs because if you implement this strategy, you connect more easily with them. You can discover what they are looking for and work to give them more accurate solutions based on their preferences, tastes, etc.
- Greater agility in the processes since you must have them automated using ERP software for SMEs. Thus, you will be able to have all your channels updated without having to spend too much time on the task. It is a fundamental tool for this and other advantages it provides when managing the business.
- Better customer experience. If you develop your omnichannel plan well, everything ends up having a positive impact on your audience. The buyer has all the information about your store, and he can consult it, place an order and solve his previous doubts. For the latter, you must provide good, personalized, fast and friendly service.
- Greater loyalty, as a result of the fantastic shopping experience you offer. You must take care of the details both in your physical store and virtual one so that the customer shows interest in acquiring something, feels comfortable during the process and is satisfied after the sale.
Some challenges of omnichannel
Using different channels to sell your products according to the context and profile of each type of customer is very beneficial. But currently, omnichannel poses some challenges that you should be aware of to be able to tackle them in the best possible way. Though undoubtedly more will emerge, we focus on three, accompanying the sector’s future.
Alliances between companies
Is it a significant challenge to send the orders you receive in your e-commerce? For many retailers, having their own logistics service is unaffordable. The solution is to associate with another company that is in charge of managing the shipments. In doing so, he seeks professionalism, quality and speed in the service.
Another example of alliance can be found in managing all your social networks by a third party if they are not something you dominate.
The well-known BOPIS ( buy online, pick-up up store )
It is an objective fact that the boundaries between offline and online are increasingly blurred. Hence, a practice known as BOPIS has appeared, which consists of merging both channels allowing you to buy online and pick up the order at the physical establishment.
Many buyers like this alternative. They save on paying shipping costs, they can have their product beforehand, and they do not have to be at home to receive it, but go for it when it suits them best. That is why we advise you to offer this possibility.
That the client falls in love
One last challenge you must take on is connecting emotionally with your customers to achieve almost unbreakable loyalty that the consumer “falls in love” with your brand. How? Creating valuable and appropriate content, launching discounts, trying harder to discover his wishes and expectations, and even interacting with him. This is important for moving from transactions to relationships and for relationships to last.
Also Read: The Omni Experience Challenge