Omnichannel: The Consumer’s Take!

0
185

Consumers don’t buy online because it’s convenient but it’s because the alternate is inconvenient. 

Retail is changing dramatically.  Consumers now research, browse and buy across an array of touch points. Consumer today are more sophisticated and savvier than ever before. To win and retain customers, leading retailers are now adopting an Omnichannel strategy! One that creates an integrated experience for the customer across all the online and physical retail touch points. Allowing retailers to drive new levels of loyalty, profitability and operational efficiency.

Facts:

We are a part of technology revolution where:

  • 76% have access to more than one digitally connected device
  • 84% couldn’t go a day without their mobile device
  • 66% wake up with their phone
  • 75% use their phone in toilet

What is Omnichannel?

Omnichannel = Consumer Convenience

Seamless shopping experience at every step across channels

It’s not about online v/s offline but it’s all about online with offline. It’s about enabling ecommerce for store profitability and not to compete with stores. It’s about enabling the transformation with people, process and platform keeping consumer convenience at the centre of all decision making.

Omnichannel for customers is all about creating a usable cross-channel experience, including the web, email, social media, phone, print, apps and online chat and physical stores.

Global Case studies for Omnichannel:

Nordstorm: Nordstrom uses Pinterest online and in stores to give customers a personalized and relevant shopping experience.Nordstrom has a customer-centric content strategy and adds Pins popular with customers. They use Pinterest data to influence decisions from buying and marketing to where they put hot items in stores. They attached signage—hashtags, cards and clips—with the Pinterest logo to dresses, handbags and shoes that received the most engagement on Pinterest.

Domino’s Pizza: Multiple Channel, One Product (Pizza)

Omnichannel is about delivering the same customer experience via any channel the customer chooses. The ordered pizza needs to taste, look and smell the same whether it was ordered online, through an app or instore. Similarly, the product needs to be consistent whether it is collected in-store or delivered by one of Domino’s drivers.

They transact through mobile and tablet apps, over the web, by phone and in person at their bricks and mortar outlets. Product manufacturing and delivery is distributed across their store network when 100s of thousands of orders are manufactured, packaged and pushed out the door in 30 minutes of the order being placed. 

Best Buy: Many channels, many journey but one experience

Best Buy has been one of the very best examples of customer-centric business practices. Best Buy battled its way back to the market with adopting omni-channel strategies. With its “reserve and pickup experience,” which allows customers to reserve from a product page online, see stores that have the product they’re looking at in stock and then reserve the item. This can be done with a simple phone number or email address, rather than a more traditional online checkout process. They turned their stores into mini delivery centres. These strategies helped them compete with biggies like Amazon and Wal-Mart.

How we can go about it?

Retailers today are required to inculcate an Omni-Channel mindset for their own survival and growth. To execute this seamlessly, they have two choices. The first is by adopting the enterprise-class platform – licensed based model and the second is to take up a SaaS-based enterprise Omni-Channel platform.

A typical enterprise-class platform will cater to an organization’s need as it is highly customizable, hosted with the organization giving them higher controls. But at the same time the implementation and upgrades over a time become tedious & complex not justifying the investments.

SaaS-based models are fast paving their way into the industry with faster adoption rates. With advantages like flexibility to run new promotion and campaigns and stop them when necessary, accessibility to systems from web, mobile, tablet anytime, anywhere with less or no intervention from the IT division and the cost effectiveness with minimal one time investment and monthly subscriptions as operational investments, enables SaaS-based models to have an edge over the other.

Omnichannel is Constant! It’s a journey NOT a Destination

“Products don’t kill business but failure to adapt quickly to a new ecosystem does.”
~ Stephany Gochuico

While there are millions of consumers who shop online, the percentage of purchases that takes place in physical stores is nothing to scoff at. As a retailer, you need to try and leverage both channels, and keep numbers high by combining the best of both—the convenience of shopping online and the familiarity of the in-person experience. Customers, even today, prefer browsing through shelves and talking to sale associates to ask questions about the products they wish to purchase. Digital Signage, interactive kiosks, Click and Collect, Curbside pickups are a few omnichannel strategies. This is about integrating offline and online channels but unifying them to create a seamless and pleasurable purchasing experience. Adopting an omnichannel strategy is no mean task. Omnichannel strategies are the future, and retailers that don’t go this route might just perish in the long run.

Banner