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15
FEB
2019

Omnichannel Retailing: How having a unified approach is good for business

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As a customer, you interact with brands every day. This interaction is sometimes done face-to-face and other times it, it is done digitally through email, social media, and company websites. So how does a business maintain a unified approach in their design, strategy, and customer experience? The answer is omnichannel retailing. Let’s take a look at what omnichannel is and why it is important.

What is Omnichannel Retailing?

Omnichannel (meaning all channels) is a fully integrated approach to commerce that offers the customers a unified experience across all the offline and online channels. Authentic omnichannel shopping goes beyond brick and mortar locations to ecommerce marketplaces, retargeting, social media and mobile browsing. The goal here is to be everywhere.
Retailers using this form of marketing and retailing seek to have a heavy digital and physical presence. Some factors must be put into consideration to offer a seamless and effortless customer experience across offline and online channels including getting a fully responsive website for different devices.

The definition of Omnichannel retailing:

A popular definition of involves in-store customers see different products and deals on their phones, ship purchases to stores or have the shopping delivered to their home, and allow for returns or exchanges at a physical retail location. This definition is barely sufficient. Truthfully, omnichannel retail is a cross-channel content strategy that provides customers with a seamless shopping experience through various communication channels.

Omnichannel vs Multichannel: What’s the difference?

Omnichannel is no new term; it has been in existence for many years but is still often confused with multichannel. Most retailers these days are multichannel as they sell their products on several platforms, but very few are truly omnichannel.

The main difference between the two is that omnichannel retail joins touch points together so, regardless of what choices the customer makes, the experience is unified and consistent. In multichannel, how the customer completes transactions is totally independent in each channel. Omnichannel, however, anticipates that a customer may start in one channel then move to another, and as such, this transfer must be fluid for the customer. The magic is in the synergy. Each of the ecommerce marketing channels should complement the next creating a seamless and holistic experience for the shopper.

Why is Omnichannel Retailing important?

This retail approach recognizes that different people may choose to use different channels when making a purchase. Consequently, they can complete their purchase in many ways. Also, omnichannel captures consumers in a way that works for them as they can conveniently shop in multiple channels.

The world has gone digital and this has resulted in a new generation of clients that use various channels and mobile devices to make a purchase. Omnichannel allows sellers to meet customer demand via this multi-target approach. Similarly, the approach makes inventory management much easier as the end-to-end supply chain management has evolved and is now empowered by cross-channel inventory visibility.

Omnichannel Digital Signage

Digital signage offers a number of solutions for bringing omnichannel marketing into the physical retail space. As a retailer, here’s are a few points to consider when adopting omnichannel digital signage.

Using digital signage, retailers should combine the convenience of online shopping with in-person experiences. This is because customers still value going to the store and browsing the shelves and intermingling with real sales personnel to asks questions.

Digital Signage should be used to create a seamless brand experience. This can be done by creating beautiful content that fits the brand narrative. When the signage, the proprietary app, and the website all present the same strong branding, the impact is even more powerful.

Integrated with beacon technology and AI software like Face Analysis, omnichannel digital signage can be a powerful tool for highly targeted interaction with customers. Messages can vary based on location in the store, customer demographics, emotions, and more. Targeted advertising makes the customer feel known and appreciated by the company, driving customer loyalty.

Future trends in Omnichannel Retailing

While there are very few retailers who are yet to embrace omnichannel, customer behavior and expectations may drive companies into investing in new technology. We can expect more innovative and affordable technical solutions that make it easy for customers to relate with various brands. Providers of in-store products may adapt to fully integrate with other channels while e-commerce platform providers continue to improve on their innovations for in-store capabilities.

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