Why your brand should go omnichannel like major retailers around the globe.
Omnichannel retail has been contagiously spreading through the retail world. There are two main drivers that are prompting brick & mortar retailers to adopt the approach:
– The Connected Customer: The proliferation of social media and smartphones is making consumers spend an increasing amount of time online. In our digital dependant lives, it is not surprising that Indians spend more time on their smartphones as compared to any other gadget or media. Customers in this age expect individualized and seamless interactions with retailers now. Passing the customer from one service department to another leads to a PR nightmare on twitter today!
– Threat from Online Retail: Online retailers are eating up the brick & mortar sales pie, especially in categories such as electronics. Brick & mortar retailers need to keep up with times and go digital to stay relevant to their customers. With digital channels, brick & mortar retailers will increase their customer retention and loyalty, as well as have new avenues to attract new customers. And omnichannel is the way to do it!
It is time for your brand to adopt omnichannel retailing! Here are five key benefits of omnichannel retail:
- Enhanced consumer perceptions: ‘The Digital Natives’ (born in the age of the PC and raised in the era of the internet) have integrated technology into their shopping habits – they search, compare and often purchase using technology. Even the younger generation, “the Digital Dependants’, born since the web was invented are getting increasingly frustrated with this non-integrated world. Their primary platform for engagement is the mobile phone and they expect that retailers will increasingly allow them to connect through this platform – not just to interact but also to transact. Retailers who are seen as laggards by this generation will end up finding themselves out of the race. Retailers are increasingly using digital channels to get customer feedback and conduct beta tests for new concepts and products that would help them understand the consumer point of view. Social media lets you gauge the mood and needs of your marketplace better. With Twitter and Facebook, your brand now has a platform as well as an audience to test your products before launch. Moreover, YouTube is quickly emerging as a marketing channel for testing TVCs before they are pushed to mass media. It is time to consolidate your arms and ammunition and showcase a united brand front to your customer today.
- Increased Sales: All eyes are on eCommerce, and with good reason. eCommerce maximizes your reach to any potential customer, with minimum capital spend. We are currently experiencing the boom of eCommerce in the country, with an expected market value increase of $800 billion in the next 6 years. Currently, eCommerce sales constitute 2% of the overall retail sales. However, digital influenced sales are significantly higher than this number. Retailers should not only consider direct eCommerce sales but also digital influenced sales (online product discovery, Facebook engagement, locating the nearest availability of a product etc). Omnichannel capabilities allow retailers access to the whole pie (brick & mortar, eCommerce, emerging mCommerce, social commerce and much more) while leveraging the strengths of each channel.
- Marketing ROI can be tracked and maximized
Omnichannel Retailing is a boon for retailers from a Marketing and ROI perspective: –
Micro-segmentation and targeting: From spray and pray advertising to tracking your advertising spend, everything is possible on omnichannel. Digital powered omnichannel retailing aids retailers in reaching out to the right audience at the right time at the right place. If you are a luxury retailer, you can reach out to females who are in the age group of 35-45, staying in Worli area and are looking for a luxury handbag. This is possible because the digital platforms amass customer demographic and shopping behaviour data.
Control on marketing spends: Digital Channels provide opportunities to test market your messaging and campaigns on budget. Learn from the experiments and scale it out. Retailers and brand owners are in complete control of their massive investments and are confident about reaching their yearly targets.
- Effective Data Collection Tracking consumer behaviour across channels can help retailers better understand consumer motivations and preferences. Armed with this information they can increase sales through cross-sell and upsell, make right offers at the right time and delight customers. They can also engage and encourage customers to come to the stores with specifically targeted communication where the probabilities of impulse purchase are higher.
- Enhanced Employee Productivity The key is in making certain that employees are as informed if not more informed than the customer. Technology can become the front lines best defense against customers who come in armed with more information than the front line associates have access to. Customer data in terms of Purchase history, preferences made available to the front line associates can drive loyalty building in-store.eg: tablet-based assistance systems for the sales staff unlock their productivity potential, with on-hand information and customer profiling capabilities. Customers like to have sure answers to product queries and stock availability. Tablet-based assistance systems facilitate the sales personnel to do just that!