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How to Leverage Omnichannel Retail for a Better Customer Experience?

Ambitious, forward-thinking retailers who want to get an unassailable competitive edge should start working towards implementing omnichannel retail strategies. As customer preferences continue to change, retailers need to adapt accordingly. 

By implementing omnichannel retail, you can not only improve customer experience but make your business operations agile and flexible to upcoming changes.

Read this blog post to know how to leverage omnichannel for a better customer experience. 

 

The rise of omnichannel retail is no surprise. Customers now want brands to provide buying opportunities via multiple channels, both online and offline. In fact, businesses that adopt omnichannel retail and marketing witness a 91% surge in year-over-year customer retention rates. 

However, omnichannel retail is a fairly new concept, and not a lot of small retailers know how to use it to their advantage. 

In this post, we'll delve deep into the best tips and strategies you can deploy to leverage omnichannel marketing and provide a better customer experience. 

 

Keep Your Branding Consistent

The biggest blunder you can make as an omnichannel brand is to provide discrete and disconnected experiences across channels. 

Understand this with a quick example. Let's say you have a fashion brand mainly catering to young men. Customers visit your eCommerce site and discover a friendly tone and style, robust color coding, and a brand message that emanates confidence and strength.

But then the customer walks into your offline store and finds an entirely opposite environment. The branding seems dull, the staff isn't friendly, and the quality of service isn't high. Will the customer make the purchase? Probably not. 

But if he went to your store and had an exactly identical experience? Your store walls had the same robust color coding, and the staff was friendly and encouraging. The chances of a sale will skyrocket. 

Many brands go wrong with their omnichannel branding. Don't become an omnichannel brand just because others are doing so. If you don't keep your branding consistent, you'll be running two different businesses that will contradict each other. 

Thankfully, making your branding consistent isn't a tormenting task. Just use similar designs, color palette, and slogans in your online and offline presence. This way, your customers will be able to instantly recognize you. 

 

Bridge the Gap Between Online and Offline Retail

If you've been selling online, setting up an offline store isn't difficult. Similarly, you can easily start an eCommerce website if you've been selling offline till now. The issue arises when you can't integrate the two channels. 

Let’s say you're a fashion retail store with a strong physical presence in your local area. You want to sell online, so you start an eCommerce store. 

Now what? How'll you get customers to visit your website and shop from there? Sure, you can create a robust marketing and SEO plan and rank your store on the first page of SERPs. But that's generally not a feasible option for most small retailers. 

So, how do you bridge the gap without hurting your wallet? 

Here's where QR codes with logo shine. 

You can put up QR codes at different places in your store, along with a clear call to action that scanning this code will take the customers to your website. Using QR codes to promote your online business has two advantages. First, it's free marketing. Generating a custom QR code is extremely cost-effective. 

Second, your customers won't need to type your website URL manually. They can scan the code and get directed to your website.

You can do the same for your social media profiles as well. Social media has emerged as one of the primary channels for omnichannel retail. By linking your QR codes to your social media accounts, you can enable your customers to find and engage with you on social media. 

 

Unify Your Sales Channel

If your customers visit your website, they should be able to know if the products listed on your site are available offline or not. Let's say you're a smartphone brand with outlets in different cities. Have a separate section where your customers can find if the latest smartphone models are available offline. And if yes, then in which stores. 

As you might've already realized, offline retail isn't going anywhere. Even if you want to focus on online selling, don't deprive your customers of shopping offline. Besides, the latest retail trends suggest that millennials and GenZ are shifting to offline retail. 

Two factors are causing this shift. First, shoppers want quality assurance. This is especially true for fashion and apparel products. Customers select the products online and then visit a store, try them out, and then make a purchase. 

The second reason is the saturation of online retail due to COVID-19. Since COVID-19 led to the shutting down of almost all brick-and-mortar stores, people had no choice but to shop online. Baby boomers, who probably had never shopped online before, had to shop for groceries and essential items online. 

Now, as physical stores reopen, people want to step outside and shop like they used to before the pandemic. As an omnichannel brand, you should ensure your customers can shop from whichever channel they want and still get a similar experience. 

 

Ensure Honesty and Clarity

Shopping cart abandonment is a major hurdle for eCommerce businesses. The average card abandonment rate is around 70%, which means 7 out of 10 carts are abandoned. 

The reason?

Additional costs that are often unclear and excessive. Let's say you wanted to buy a smartphone and you had a strict budget of $999. You visit an eCommerce site and select a product priced at $995. You get excited, as were getting a good smartphone in your budget. But as you added the item to the cart and proceeded to check out, you found that the total cart price was $1005. 

You checked the cart items again to confirm if you hadn't added something by mistake. But you hadn't. On careful scrutinization, you found that the seller had added a $10 unexplained fee. 

Would you still have made the purchase? 

The key to successful omnichannel retail is honesty and clarity. Ensure that your items are priced consistently across all channels, and there are no hidden costs. Even if there are, be transparent and specify them clearly to your customers. In short, your customers should know what they are paying for. 

 

Allow Customers to Check Product Availability

More than 70% of customers expect to have access to the inventory status of a brand. They want to know if their favorite product is available. If yes, then how many items are left. 

And if now, then when will it be available again. The leading omnichannel brands allow their customers to see the quantity left in stock for each product and where the item is available. 

Your customers should get the following information from your product listings:

  • They should be able to find out where a product is available. This is helpful if you have multiple retail stores. 
  • The product listings should have detailed product information that covers all the details a customer could need to make the purchase. 
  • Make sure to have clear, high-quality images that demonstrate the product. Also, include tagged images so that your customers can get a better idea of how a product would look and feel when they buy it. 
  • Don't forget to include customer reviews. Your customers should know what other customers are saying about your product.

By implementing these steps, you'll allow your customers to get more information about your product, which fill facilitate their purchase decision. 

 

Always Put Customers at the Center of Your Strategy

Why are you putting in so much effort to get your branding in line and unifying sales channels? For your customers, right? So, make sure you put their needs at the heart of your strategy. From your branding strategy to your marketing tactics, everything should align with your customers' needs. 

If for a moment, you deviate from what your customers need, you'll end up losing customers. Your focus should be to solve your customers' problems and provide them with a superior experience. 

Let's assume you're a shoe brand that sells sneakers and sports shoes for females. Your customers want to shop online, but they're struggling to find the right size. To resolve their problem, you can offer a 3-day no-cost return policy. 

Your customers will be able to order the shoes, try them on, and keep them if they fit. If they don't, they can simply request a return and get their entire money back.

 

Wrapping Up

Ambitious, forward-thinking retailers who want to get an unassailable competitive edge should start working towards implementing omnichannel retail strategies. As customer preferences continue to change, retailers need to adapt accordingly. 

By implementing omnichannel retailArticle Search, you can not only improve customer experience but make your business operations agile and flexible to upcoming changes.

 

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Apoorva Hegde is a Content Marketer at MobStac. 



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