Well, the answer is no. Gone are the days of e-commerce versus brick-and-mortar. Now, it’s all about the amalgamation of both. In other words, omnichannel retailing. Retailers have to make full use of both online and offline marketing channels, including the physical store, to provide consumers with a seamless, unified shopping experience across all mediums.
Customers who shop online expect to be able to get their purchase almost immediately, either by self collection or home delivery. They want to be able to check which store carries the product they are looking for online before heading down to the store. In short, they want the entire experience to be easy, fast and personalised. So, does it really matter which medium the customer makes the purchase on as long as the deal is sealed in the end?
To all the retailers out there, fret not. Here’s some tips on how you can get started on omnichannel retailing:
1. Do Your Homework
It’s all about the consumer. Get your employees to share their experiences and views on how the store experience can be improved since they are the ones who interact with customers first-hand. Find out about customer behaviours through your website data, and gather feedback from customers by conducting surveys, interviews, focus groups or even by observation.
2. Crack Your Brains
Think of how you want customers to remember your brand by. Be sure to give them a holistic and coherent idea of what the brand stands for throughout all your offline and online channels as you proceed to plan for an integrated marketing strategy.
3. Search Engine Optimisation
Every customer journey begins with search. Maximise your brand presence online so that customers can obtain the information they want easily. For example, if a customer Google for a specific blue dress sold in your store, search results can provide her with the physical store inventory information of the same dress, in her size, and at the nearest store where she can get it.
4. Blow Their Minds
After customers are lured to your store, blow their minds by giving them the best in-store experience ever. This can be in the form of digital in-store displays and devices which makes their shopping experience more unique and convenient. There are devices in the market that can scan the customer’s body figure and allow them to ‘try on’ clothes without having to enter the fitting room. Clothes that are suitable for the customer can be recommended instantly, and style guides can also be provided to help customers match items that they have already chosen, or previously purchased.
In-store promotions can also be personalised and sent to customers as they shop around the store. Customers can make their purchases digitally and choose between home delivery or self collection on the spot. Instant redemption of promo codes or coupons can also be done.
In a nutshell, these are some factors to consider before you embark on omnichannel marketing:
Just think of all the possibilities you can achieve with omnichannel marketing. This is definitely the start of something amazing! We would be glad to be a part of your journey towards omnichannel marketing. Contact us, share your vision and we might be able to chip in and give you a push in your digital marketing strategies.