Retailers across the spectrum have embraced e-commerce to complement sales at their brick-and-mortar locations. With many more online businesses starting at home thanks to the global pandemic, it's good to learn about omnichannel retailing for customers to purchase your products.
In a recent study, Harvard Business Review found that 73% of shoppers utilized multiple channels in their shopping experience. With the increase in mobile shopping and the necessity to integrate inventory management on the back end, implementing omnichannel retailing is more important than ever.
The benefits it provides to customers are equaled by the benefits you as the retailer will realize. These benefits include increased sales, simplified inventory management, and greater awareness of customer habits.
Here’s a snapshot of the plethora of benefits that implementing the omnichannel sales paradigm can bring your business.
Integration Of Omnichannel Retailing Across The Board
What separates omnichannel retailing from multichannel retailing is the focus on system integration across the board. This goes far beyond keeping current on inventory between your physical and online stores.
When you implement an omnichannel paradigm, you’re able to integrate not just inventory but also customer service, merchandising, and resource allocation. This has huge positives for the retailer as well as the customer.
Inventory integration means that the left hand always knows what the right hand is doing regarding the stock status of sale items. You won’t need to worry that there will be a run on a particular product in your retail store and ecommerce customers won’t get the memo until after they order.
Rather, item stock status will be updated and distributed across the organization in real time, which prevents nasty surprises even if your customer is a bit disappointed that the item is out of stock.
Customer service for both online and in-person sales can be integrated, greatly simplifying your team’s procedures and enabling more comprehensive resource planning.
Reach Customers Wherever They Are With Omnichannel
Effective Mobile Sales
The use of smartphones to search for products and make purchases is only increasing. It’s no longer enough to simply have an ecommerce site. You must make sure that your site utilizes responsive web design, which means it will look and function just as well on a phone, phablet, tablet or computer.
This lets your existing and potential customers browse your selection and make purchases on their timetable rather than being forced to wait until they’re able to connect from a device that offers a better experience.
Social Media Engagement
Many times, a customer or prospective customer won’t come directly to your store to search for the product they want; they will come across it on social media and will be ready to buy once they lay eyes on it.
If they have to jump through hoops to go to your store site, find the product, and make the purchase, they may lose interest before they complete the sale. That’s why integration with social media platforms such as Instagram is so critical.
The ability of followers to travel a straight sales path between a post and the Buy button is remarkably effective at increasing sales from existing customers.
Universal Customer Tracking
By always keeping the sale within easy reach of your customers, you can also develop detailed information on their habits – purchasing and otherwise. Not only can you determine what they buy, when and from which platform, but you can determine when they forego the sale and work to shore up weak points in your sales funnel.
Dynamic Customer Loyalty
Many customer loyalty programs are still stuck in the single channel or multichannel retail paradigms. A full-featured omnichannel loyalty program can ensure your customers are rewarded no matter where they trigger the sale. This in turn engenders repeat visits and gives you more data with which to laser target smaller and smaller customer segments.
Custom-Tailored Shopping Experiences
The greatly enhanced tracking capabilities made possible by omnichannel retail POS solutions enable you to essentially provide each customer with the shopping experience best suited to their habits and tastes. You can keep them in the loop regarding availability of their most frequently purchased items as well as similar items. This enables you to increase sales through cross-selling and upselling.
For instance, if your retail point of sale solution detects that a customer is purchasing the generic version of a product or a lower-margin item, it can offer a coupon to encourage them to purchase a higher-quality, higher-margin item of the same type.
Shop Online, Pick Up In Store
Empowering customers with the flexibility to browse through items in your catalog online is great. Picking up the product at the store saves them money on shipping. Coming in may also compel them to make additional purchases.
According to a recent study conducted by Retail Dive, 40% of in-store pickup orders result in additional sales. Th technology to enable this was once quite complex and costly. Now it has since become much simpler and more affordable.
Even small shops can now implement same-day pickup. This allows customers to avoid delivery delays. Further, it provides the same sort of instant gratification that they receive from shopping at the physical store.
Outshine The Competition
In the final analysis, one of the most valuable benefits of omnichannel retailing is your ability to keep up with the changing habits of your customers. By proving your ability to embrace this new paradigm, you’re showing your customers that you’re able to cater to their diverse needs.
Omnichannel retailing increases their confidence in purchasing from your shop. It also compels your customers to choose your product over the competition. The resulting increase in sales makes adopting an omnichannel sales solution a savvy investment.