The retail shopping experience has undergone some massive changes in recent years, with more and more Americans gravitating towards online shopping. Nonetheless, consumers still spend 64 percent of their shopping money in physical stores. Yet many of those consumers perform extensive online research and price-comparisons before venturing out into the world.
In order for a retailer to remain competitive in terms of sales, they must take a proactive approach to syncing their online and in-store user experiences. Marketing professionals commonly refer to this discipline as omni-channel commerce. This article outlines three key benefits of a well-designed omni-channel retail strategy.
Seamless Transition from Online to In-Person
The ultimately goal of an omni-channel retail strategy is to make it as easy as possible for customers to find—and purchase—the products they want. To achieve this end, you must create as seamless a transition as possible between your online and in-person platforms. This approach allows you to accommodate a wide range of shopping habits.
For instance, as noted above, many consumers prefer to research a product online, only to make their actual purchase at a physical location. A good omni-channel strategy makes it easy for consumers to view in-store inventory from your company website. Some consumers also prefer to purchase an item online, but then pick it up in a store.
A good omni-channel retail strategy enables workers at a physical location to prep such orders and have them ready to go once the customer arrives. An omni-channel strategy should also make it as easy as possible to return online-purchased items at physical stores, and vice-versa.
Consumers’ increasing preference for online shopping has opened up new—and highly effective—avenues of marketing. An omni-channel retain strategy offers an excellent way promote your brand and enlarge your customer base. In this regard, your website and your showroom are really just two facets of a single entity.
A good omni-channel strategy also recognizes the huge role that social media plays when it comes to branding. The wonderful thing about social media is that it provides a nearly limitless treasure trove of reviews, feedback, and excitement regarding your brand. By integrating social media into your strategy, you can build trust and garner lasting brand loyalty.
Promoting brand identity and fostering consumer loyalty can prove difficult for companies that don’t embrace omni-channel marketing. In fact, a recent survey conducted by Periscope found that a whopping 78 percent of retailers admit that they lack consistent branding across all of their channels. Correcting that problem with an omni-channel strategy can effectively boost digital and real-world growth.
Increased Consumer Data
Consumer analytics are hugely valuable for retailers. The more you know about how, when, and why customers purchase your products, the better you can tailor your strategy to increase sales. Online shopping offers a wealth of data compared to traditional in-store purchases, and a well-honed omni-channel retail strategy will harvest that data and put it to work for you.
For instance, an omni-channel strategy allows you to pinpoint exactly where consumers make purchases, whether in-store, during their daily commute, at home, or elsewhere. Likewise, you can glean valuable information about the times of day during which purchases are made. Over the longer term, you can track how frequently customers make purchases from your company, as well as their preferred ways of engaging with your brand.
The retail world continues to evolve at a rapid pace, as consumers show an eagerness to explore new ways of making purchases. Smart businesses choose to move with the times, using omni-channel strategies to ensure consistent brand experience across all platforms. For more information about what it takes to develop a strong omni-channel approach, contact the industry experts at Verdure Digital to arrange a consultation.