Omnichannel Shopping Will Become the New Normal!
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According to a survey conducted by HBR (Harvard Business Review), 73% of respondents said they use multiple channels while shopping for any product. This data is almost four years old. With the breakout of the COVID-19 virus last year and a sudden surge of cases due to the second wave this year, We can only imagine that the number of companies adopting Omnichannel would have skyrocketed even more in 2021.
Omnichannel retail refers to the convergence of offline and online channels to create a seamless and consistent experience across channels, devices, locations and payments for clients. In order to qualify as an authentication omni channel platform, these platforms must be connected seamlessly no matter which channel they use or which channel they might switch to across and throughout their journey. Companies that apply an omnichannel approach attempt to make a unified consistent client experience, since they comprehend that the present shoppers utilize a wide assortment of channels to interface with organizations, and they frequently do so at the same time,” Perstneva composed. “In the event that these channels don’t cooperate, it is anything but an omnichannel approach,” he added. Likewise, this degree of unified existence across a huge number of channels is currently the new normal inside the retail business. This implies that those without the grit to provide this type of Omnichannel experience will gradually and eventually fall far behind their respective competitors.
With the increase in the adoption of social media, mobile devices, voice assistants, contactless tech like QR, AI enabled tech and contactless in-store shopping like scan and pay self check-out, Omnichannel is more prominent than ever over the past half decade. Customers are now more tech savvy than ever with almost all age groups excelling in online shopping, social media and using smartphones. They are always connected and can shop anywhere, at any time so a seamless shopping experience is no more just a rare unique concept, but rather an important key part of everyone’s lives as safety conscious and modern customers leverage the availability of convenience and options. According to LS Retail, An omnichannel experience is no longer demanded but in fact is expected of every store.
Here are some insights for you to offer a seamless omnichannel shopping experience:
Step 1: Be prepared – Accumulate all the necessary tools and resources you need to support an omnichannel experience. Your company must comprehend all the features and extend a successful omnichannel experience for your clients. What do you need to be prepared for? Some aspects to consider include:
- Channels that are linked are a priority for going omnichannel as this will ensure there is a connectivity between online and offline channels in order to further work on a seamless experience. This way, customers can always continue from where they leave off regardless of which channel they last used. This would ensure a convenient and simple but seamless omnichannel experience with all channels consistent.
- In-store omnichannel capabilities such as if your company sells via brick-and-mortar stores with an addition of online mediums, your omnichannel approach should include all these physical locations too. As LS Retail noted, this implies providing in-store staff with access to live information of online channels and vice versa, hence enabling customers to make exchanges or returns no matter where or how they originally purchased it. LS Retail stated ”It’s also about giving your team quick access to customer information across all your channels, so they have the information they need to make the right recommendations.” In store POS systems are required with efficient sales associates who are equipped to convert returns into sales immediately when e-commerce is linked to in-store. This is the power of going Omnichannel.
Step 2: Customer is king – Vinculum’s Co-founder Annajee Nott said in a Business connect interview “Customer is king.” This pertains to the fact that customers are always right and in charge when it comes to customer oriented businesses. Omnichannel is about providing clients with the needs whatever they demand and in a smooth consistent manner that caters to their preferences. Flexibility is key in this matter. The company needs to know how they want to have these items delivered and how they might want to use the return and refund service. This helps the company ensure that their omnichannel resources provide for these specific needs. The most vital aspect of a business is to retain its loyal customers. This is done by connecting customers to your brand across all touchpoints and providing them the opportunity to be rewarded for spending and engagement across channels.
Step 3: Focus on personalization – Personalize the customer experience at every step of the journey. Omnichannel can be taken a step further to provide a custom shopping experience which wins over clients. For example:- Giving recommendations based on client’s purchase behaviour in the past or interests in specific merchandise. Personalization is crucial for any company to do well and earn customer loyalty to help differentiate you from your competitors in the marketplace.
Step 4: Optimize website for mobile devices- as shoppers use smartphones mainly for shopping according to the latest research. If on a tight budget, then create a mobile app or a PWA availing the services of freelancers. This lets you gain publicity and convenience across a wide range of clients.
Step 5: Offer various purchase options, such as – Buy online, pick up in-store; Buy in-store, choose home delivery & Buy online, get doorstep delivery
Step 6: Finally, use analytics tools like Finteza, Google Analytics, Facebook Audience Insights, SocialRank, Google Trends that provide detailed ecommerce analytics, to identify consumer behaviors and track everything related to the revenue, market fluctuations and cash flow. An analytics tool helps a company analyze which products are doing well and in demand. It also lets the company monitor profit and loss in addition to evaluating customer loyalty.
Omnichannel is now the new normal, and with the right level focus, information technology and competence, your company will be ready to scale and provide your clients with a seamless Omnichannel experience.
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