At the moment, Omni-Channel is one of the most popular words in the retail industry, widely known as eCommerce. It is a multichannel strategy to sales that aims to provide customers with an easy and convenient way of shopping, may it be through online, mobile, or directly in-store.
Omni-Channel is basically about your customers and their shopping experience with you. Creating a smooth shopping experience for your customers is a huge factor in your business’ success.
With the new age of eCommerce, customers are now expecting their shopping experience and transactions to be smooth and efficient, whether they purchase online or in-store. Retailers therefore need to be aware of the importance of Omni-Channel.
Importance of Omni-Channel in Customer Experience
Customer experience is a fundamental part of retail business
Nowadays, customers prefer using their mobiles, tablets and laptops to check products online with just a few clicks of buttons and icons. They are considered Omni-Channel customers and they want you to engage with them by providing them complete and up-to-date product information.
Retailers should provide their customers brand and product information across multiple platforms, online or in-store. Since technology is making a huge advancement, customers and consumers are keeping up with the trend.
Customers’ purchasing habits
Customers now prefer eCommerce purchasing compared to in-store shopping because it is more convenient, time saving and efficient. Having an Omni-Channel presence in the eCommerce industry means your customers have the choice to purchase items from the online platform you have.
Utilizing an effective Omni-Channel strategy can be very beneficial for your eCommerce business. If you provide your customers with complete product information and by engaging with them through customer support, you are capturing potential sales from across your multiple platforms.
The use of software to efficiently manage your Omni-Channel retailing
It is also important to use a management software on your Omni-Channel retailing. One example of this software is Ordorite which can help you efficiently manage your eCommerce store’s product catalogue in a single location.
Management software can help you synchronize all your products online and in-store if you have one on all your sales channels. It allows you to manage stocks at all times.
Your customers’ information and orders are also stored in a single location which makes it easier for you to manage orders effectively and efficiently.
6 Best Practices of Omni-Channel
Embrace the latest technology
Nowadays, eCommerce innovations are non-stop and mobile commerce is growing faster. Making sure that your site is optimized for mobile use will favor you and your business.
Another new technology is the social commerce and an example is the deal with Shopify and Twitter. In 2015, Shopify has allowed its merchants to sell on Twitter. As a retailer, you should be open in exploring the social media scene.
If embracing the latest technology means an improvement in customer experience, you should take advantage of it.
Making your customers feel like they are on top of the world
To make this happen, you must truly understand your customers. Having their best interest at heart and making sure that you understand their needs and will meet these comfortably, is the key.
Be sure to respect your customers’ permissions and privacy. Keep in mind to include an option for them to unsubscribe. Ask for reasons why they want to do so as this will help you understand their needs even better.
You can use social media, SMS, and email in your communication strategy. You can also opt to automate all these through a marketing automation program. Include some personalized subject lines and contents that are based on site behaviors and data rules.
Segregate your targeted customers’ database
The first thing that you have to keep in mind is to identify your active customers. You can coordinate with your internal marketing counterparts to identify all the channels where your customers interact most.
These channels are through your social media pages and websites. It is important that you gather data from your customers. You can combine all the gathered data from across your system and build the best audience profiles.
Make sure that your customers’ shopping experience is personalized to their shopping behavior and habit.
Take advantage of the Omni-Channel analytics
Data analytics from the digital world is big. Imagine the task of categorizing various types of customers, from teen shoppers, to moms on the go, gadget enthusiasts, and fitness geek.
Presence analytics help retailers determine the time spent by customers at their stores. By understanding your customers’ behavioral patterns, you can identify their interests. The information you can gather from this analytics can later be used to send your customers targeted marketing promotions through emails, SMS, or push notifications.
Utilize channel fluidity
Ask yourselves this: “If my customer bought a product on my online store, can they return or exchange it at my physical store?”
If your customers can’t, then you might be losing a valued customer. Omni-channel is all about making sure that your customers have the best shopping experience. Address their concerns and satisfy their needs. A report from Business2Community says 67% of customers shop on their device and finish on another.
Integrate a brick and mortar to your strategy
Customers prefer an immersive, personalized, and exciting way to shop in stores. There are endless aisle applications which allow customers to instantly get out of stock items from another store, and have it delivered to them.
The use of conversational commerce to guide your customers from the start of their shopping journey to their check out is crucial because it gives them a sense of importance and a feeling of being valued.
Successful and effective Omni-Channel retailing done correctly
The company has recognized how customers switch from an eCommerce website to their smartphones, to their tablets when they research for products.
When their customers are signed in, the Crate & Barrel app saves their eCommerce shopping cart for them to easily access their information across various channels. Customers can easily pick up where they left off from their shopping process.
Crate & Barrel also uses its wedding and gift registry to provide a smooth shopping experience for their soon-to-be-wed customers and their guests.
The main essence of having an effective Omni-Channel strategy boils down to your customers’ shopping experience. How you can make it easy, convenient and smooth for them to shop at your store.
Are you a retailer who is struggling in coming up with your Omni-Channel strategy or are you successful in creating one? Why not share with us your experience by leaving a comment below and let’s discuss Omni-Channel even more!