5 Keys for a Successful Omnichannel Strategy
Omnichannel retail strategies are now a must for retail businesses.
After the COVID19 pandemic, customers went from offline to online, like never before in the history of online shopping. Expecting no less than consistent experiences through all channels.
So no wonder why in 2020, the year of the worldwide lockdown, the top priority for 59% of American retailers was to integrate Omnichannel capabilities into their POS Software, according to Finances Online statistics.
Omnichannel customer experience is something customers want brands to provide, and smart retailers know it. In this article we are going to show you not only why omnichannel strategy is important for your retail business, but why it is important to have one that is at least good.
We will help you understand the difference between omnichannel and multichannel, what makes a good omnichannel strategy, we will touch upon five examples of successful omnichannel strategies, and finally, we will give you 5 keys for a successful omnichannel strategy for your retail business.
Some Benefits of an Omnichannel Strategy
There are several benefits of implementing an omnichannel strategy for your retail business.
First, it can help you better understand your customers’ needs and desires. By tracking interactions and behaviors across all channels, you can identify trends and patterns that would otherwise be missed.
Second, an omnichannel approach can improve customer loyalty. When customers are able to interact with your brand on their own terms, they are more likely to develop a strong connection and be more likely to return in the future.
Third, it can help you make more sales, as customers are looking to buy the products they want, when they want them, and form the channel they prefer.
Finally, an omnichannel strategy can help businesses improve customer service. By providing a seamless experience across all sales channels, businesses can ensure that customers are satisfied, not only with their shopping experience but with what happens next.
A well-implemented omnichannel strategy will allow you to provide a great customer experience, gain more happy returning customers and increase your sales.
Omnichannel vs Multichannel
Omnichannel and multichannel are two different terms that are often used interchangeably, but they actually have different meanings.
Omnichannel means that your channels work together for the benefit of your customers, and therefore for your retail business.
Most brands have a multi-channel presence, with various touch points and sales channels. They are available through social media, on their website, and have increased traffic on mobile devices as well, but if their channels receive information that is disconnected from each other, that is, if they do not work together, then they are not omnichannel.
Omnichannel Strategy in Retail
How does a good omnichannel strategy look in retail?
As a response to changes in buying patterns and customer expectations retailers had to implement omnichannel strategies.
For your retail business, omnichannel means being there for your customers through all the different channels they expect to purchase from, from digital channels to physical stores.
This means being present at all times and through any channel, in order to meet customers needs and allow them to buy the products you sell when they want them, and from their preferred channel.
A customer can be entering your website from a mobile device, a desktop computer, or both at the same time, while calling your business on the phone and writing through Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger or other social media channel.
Whether they send you an email, or respond to one that your company sends them, whether they contact you through Facebook, Whatsapp or your e-commerce platform, from any of the online channels, or from a cash register in a physical store , the customer will expect a quick and satisfactory response.
Customers are everywhere, smart retailers are doing something about it!
An important study by Harvard Business Review revealed in 2017 that 73% of consumers use multiple channels during their shopping journey. After the pandemic, we can all agree that number has surely increased.
Omnichannel customers spend more, according to the same study by HBR, which says omnichannel customers “spent an average of 4% more in store and 10% more online than single-channel customers.”
So smart retailers know that “Omnichannel Customer Experience matters more today than ever”, as the the global omnichannel retail commerce platform market is expected to grow from 2.99 billion it had in 2017, to $11.1 billion by 2023, according to Market Research Future.
Omnichannel is the means to provide a great customer experience, which according to Forbes 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for, whereas according to PWC 32% of customers “will walk away from a brand they love, after a single bad experience.”
What makes a good omnichannel strategy?
If an omnichannel strategy refers to a business method that employs multiple sales channels to reach customers in an integrated and seamless way, then a good omnichannel strategy will give your business the possibility to integrate marketing, sales and customer service to provide a great Customer Experience.
A good omnichannel strategy combines elements of sales strategy, digital marketing and customer service, with the aim of giving customers a fully integrated experience, regardless the channel they use.
In this way, a good omnichannel strategy seeks to improve the customer experience, and ultimately achieve more sales by creating a sustainable ecosystem for the brand.
A good omnichannel strategy goes far beyond merely having a robust online presence, a strong digital marketing, great customer service and good online shopping experience, and yet it encompasses all of these areas.
A good omnichannel strategy combines great instore experiences with great user experience at both, the online store and the multiple channels in the customer journey map, providing a brand experience.
5 Omnichannel Strategy Examples
Disney’s omnichannel experience is one of the most remarkable out there. It starts from the moment you plan your trip, immersing in a wonderful experience. All channels communicate with each other and work seamlessly together.
The magic band experience is unique, as it gives you one-touch access to Disney theme parks, unlocking your hotel room door, connecting to Disney Photo Pass photos, and charging purchased food and merchandise to your hotel bill.
This bracelet takes the customer experience to a very high standard, along with internet of things (IoT), providing information to the different systems, so that the customer lives an unforgettable and truly wonderful experience.
Apple was among the first brands to take the omnichannel experience to the next level, offering devices that seamlessly communicate with each other through iCloud accounts.
In the same way, customers exchange messages with contacts through different devices from the same account, regardless of the device, whether it is the iPad or the iPhone or a Macbook. All information is available through the omnichannel experience provided by Apple through the iCloud account.
One thing retailers can learn from Apple’s omnichannel strategy is to ensure that their customers don’t have to repeat information. Anyone who uses iOS across any device and has an iCloud account knows what we’re talking about.
The success of Starbucks omnichannel experience is in its Starbucks Rewards app, which is considered by many as one of the most prominent omnichannel strategies in the market.
How does this experience work? Whether by card or app, you can order your coffee and pay, but unlike other loyalty cards you can top up your card with money from your phone while you’re in line, if you haven’t already done so from the website, or you can also do it by the counter at the store, and of course your profile gets updated through all digital channels and point of sale, in real time.
Amazon’s vision is to “Become the most customer-centric company in the world”, and therefore there is much to learn from what they do, because they always focus on customers, creating a positive and unique experience.
The Amazon single customer account allows you to browse through all the services that Amazon offers, whether you want to watch a movie, buy a book or an item that is sold on its platform, use AWS services and even apply for a job.
If you want to know more about the reasons why customers prefer Amazon, we recommend this blog on our website: https://www.teamworkcommerce.com/5-ecommerce-trends-shaping-retail-businesses-in-2022/
The dream toy store for little princes and princesses, which has appeared in classic Hollywood films such as Big, with Tom Hanks, has had an amazing rebirth, offering it’s customers a successful omnichannel strategy.
It is known the iconic New York toy store has long lines, but the staff can move throughout the store with an iPad and make sales on the go, search for products or whatever the customer may require.
Worthy to mention that the iconic toy store FAO Schwarz decided to choose Teamwork Commerce as its Point of Sale solution to support the omnichannel experience they provide (You can check the success story here).
It is true that children also enjoy a good omnichannel strategy, as it is true they will be the customers of the future.
5 Keys for a Successful Omnichannel Strategy
1.- Make sure you have an industry leading Omnichannel Solution
One that provides retailers with Point of Sale (POS Software), Order Maanagement (OMS), Inventory Control, CRM and Analytics, that ensures a consistent experience, regardless the channel.
It is imperative that your brand always knows how to service customers, no matter what stage of the sales process they are in.
With an omnichannel POS Software you can ensure that customers have a consistent shopping experience regardless of where they buy from or how they interact with the brand.
2.- Provide a seamless flow of information between channels, including point-of-sale (POS) systems and websites
Ensuring that the information between your channels flows seamlessly and has no silos is essential to guarantee a great customer experience.
All communication channels, from physical stores to digital channels, together with a seamless integration to your POS Software, digital marketing strategy and customer service, must be perfectly aligned in order to provide a great customer experience.
3.- Know your Customer’s Journey Map
Knowing your customer’s journey map is essential for a successful omnichannel strategy, since you will know where your customer prefers to buy, how they prefer to do it, and which channels you should take into account to deploy marketing strategies and increase sales.
Identifying your buyer persona is not the only important thing, you also need to know what path your customers follow when they enter the universe of your brand.
4.- Deploy effective Omnichannel Marketing Campaigns
Retail marketers know the importance of omnichannel marketing as a consistent brand presence across multiple channels, instore and online, push notifications, marketing automation, events, call-centers, SMS, e-mail, WhatsApp, Social media platforms and every other marketing channel available to reach target audiences in compelling ways.
Make sure you promote the brand in all channels, including social media and mobile apps.
5.- Measure your Omnichannel Strategy and adjust accordingly
Measure the performance of your omnichannel strategy constantly and make adjustments as necessary. Measurements might include how often customers contact you, how long it takes them to complete a transaction, and what is the customer satisfaction after completing a transaction.
Without measurement there is no way to improve. So if you have a clear goal and vision for your omnichannel strategy, and know what you want to achieve and how you want your customers interacting with your business across channels, then you can make sure you’re on track.
Having an omnichannel strategy is important for your retail business because it allows you to provide a better customer experience, increase sales, and optimize operations.
In retail, a good omnichannel strategy means that your customers can buy your products when they want to, how they want to, and even pick them up wherever is more convenient for them, or have them delivered straight at home.
Improving your omnichannel strategy pays, since it is the means for a great customer experience.
By leveraging the power of e-commerce and physical stores together, you can create a seamless shopping experience that your customers will thank you for.
The most successful brands out there are using good omnichannel strategies that are not only giving a lot to talk about, but that are making their customers happy, and that are making the world a better place.
So if you’re not currently implementing an omnichannel strategy, now may be the time to start doing it.
Take your omnichannel strategy to the next level and give your customers a perfect omnichannel experience with Teamwork Commerce.
Are you ready to move forward with omnichannel retail?
Enter Teamwork Commerce. Schedule a demo to discover how you can build an omnichannel seamless experience and exceed customer expectations with Teamwork Commerce’s leading omnichannel approach to online and offline shopping.
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