Both online retail and brick-and-mortar stores are trying to stay as contextual and relevant as possible so they can meet the ever-increasing demands of the customers. With customers, no more loyal to a single medium of shopping, omnichannel retailing is practically a no-brainer today. It’s no more a new trend anymore. Retailers have been looking to have an omnichannel existence for quite some time now. With competition at an all-time high now, retailers are trying to devise new strategies and methods so they can meet customer expectations at all levels, even exceed them if possible. Let’s delve deep into a few aspects related to the omnichannel retailing of today.
Striving for Customer Loyalty? – Consistent customer experience across channels is must
Retailers are always striving to acquire customers for the longest time. Merely having an omnichannel presence does not guarantee brands the loyalty they are looking for. As per the results of a research conducted by Manhattan Associates, a lot of service aspects makes a customer most loyal to a retailer. 29% of respondents feel that friendly and helpful store associates will make a customer most loyal to a retailer. 41% of them believe that faster delivery and an exclusive loyalty scheme should be enough. But, as many as 51% of the respondents believe that a consistent experience and service across all mediums will make them loyal to a retailer. Retailers should look to provide a consistent service to their customers irrespective of whether they are shopping in-store, online, or via mobile.
Personalizing the shoppers’ journey
With omnichannel retailing very much prevalent in the retail sphere, retailers must know that personalizing the shoppers’ journey across all mediums is of paramount importance. Whether the customer is shopping online or in-store, they are always expecting retailers to engage with them on a personal, and exclusive level. Retailers should understand what the message is that the customer wants to hear, and communicate accordingly.
Most of the omnichannel retailers focus on personalizing the online shopping journey of the customers. They must understand that the physical store, in the time ahead, will prove to be just as important a medium as online, and mobile. With immediate gratification, look and feel, etc. being the key influencers of a customers’ shopping decision, no one can ever say that brick-and-mortar will die. Thus, retailers need to concentrate on in-store personalization just as much they do on online. Personalizing the shoppers’ journey across all mediums will enhance the overall omnichannel experience of the customers.
Reasons Customers go to a Physical Store
Despite the popularity of online shopping, nothing has quite been able to abolish brick-and-mortar retail completely. The ones who resort to omnichannel retailing must know that people still walk into physical stores. So, retailers who were focusing more on their online operations might want to refocus their priorities. However, the reasons why they enter these stores is no more the same as it was a decade or more back. Back in the days, customers walked into stores as it was a compulsion. Today, they can choose to avoid walking into physical stores and shop from the comfort of their homes. They don’t always do that. This is because walking into physical stores today is not just a mere compulsion anymore. Consider the following illustration for a clear indication.
Customers, even the ones who are online savvy, have more reasons than one to go to physical stores. All the comfort and convenience of online shopping is fine, but not always satisfactory. People generally love touching and feeling products before they purchase it, especially expensive and luxury items. Also, there is nothing quite like instant gratification in retail. People also go to the physical store for simply browsing items for comparison with online. Few even go to get a feel of the product before they eventually purchase it online. Obviously, there are many who love the overall social experience of shopping at a physical store. These are the several reasons why customers walk into physical stores today.