Blame it on the growing millennial generation’s one click mentality but instant gratification is shaping the future of retail. Whether a baby boomer, generation Xer or millennial, in today’s world, consumers generally rely on e-commerce sites or apps to search for products, access information about those products and make purchases – when they want and how they want. And retailers and manufacturers have listened to the omni-channel call and have acknowledged that in this multichannel age, consumers expect that the way they shop in store and online be the same. In fact, with tech-savvy consumers demanding seamless shopping experiences across all channels, some 62% of retailers have responded by introducing Omni-Channel services, according to a survey by JDA Software Group.
Yet why are so few retailers doing it well? Certainly, the benefits are extraordinary – companies with omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain on average 89% of their customers, compared to 33% for companies with weak omnichannel customer engagement. (Aberdeen Group). Some experts argue retailers are making strategic errors across phases of their omnichannel initiatives. Why is this so challenging? It’s not for lack of trying, as we see many companies are making the investment. But the “how-to” on developing that seamless experience between brick-and-mortar, mobile and e-com – is the big knowledge gap.
Embrace the Consumer
Omnichannel efforts must be designed around the user, allowing them to move easily from one channel to the next. Consumers of course, don’t consider them different channels, and frankly they don’t care.
Embrace a Unified Experience:
Provide customers with personalized recommendations across all your channels. Give your consumers a seamless experience and feelings on every channel. Take for example apparel/lifestyle brand, Vineyard Vines. At last month’s Salesforce DreamForce event, they spoke about the importance of integrating dynamic ecommerce capabilities across all channels and devices. Encompassing the catalog, website and store, they are connecting their brand to their customer in one seamless experience.
Embrace Predictive Commerce:
Predictive models and analytics can help businesses determine the intent of their customers and are valuable to track user behavior. Done well, they enable online retailers to target consumers on the basis of their behaviors. Then retailers are in a great position to offer complementary and/or alternative products, search options, and brands, send targeted product promotions even when a shopper is offline. The added bonus for retailers is that they’re able to keep visitors on their site longer to help prompt purchases.
Several technology trends — the proliferation of cloud services, easier integration through application programming interfaces (APIs) and big data and real-time analytics, among others — are enabling big retailers to converge the business, employee and customer processes of those physical and virtual stores in increasingly sophisticated and comprehensive ways.
This is where the 1WorldSync Omni-Channel solutions helps brands achieve success by providing access to authentic and trusted information helping businesses organize for cross channel sales growth by making their products digital, discoverable and highly shoppable. Request a consultation today and take the first step in overcoming the complexities of Omni-Channel retailing.