OMNICHANNEL RETAIL; THE FUTURE OF NEW NORMAL
Every pandemic brings disruption to the human race and a boom in technology. People find ways to reprimand the effects of the disaster and to adapt to the new normal.
When the SARS outbreak hit CHINA, ALIBABA came up with the philosophy of NEW RETAIL. It was nothing but a seamless integration of offline to online retail. And, similarly NEW NORMAL (for retail) is an extension to NEW RETAIL. With physical stores being shut and losing profits, retailers had to make a few quick decisions to save their dipping fortune.
But struggling through the pandemic, not only the merchants but the consumer also developed skills. They don’t buy in a jiffy, they take their time, research on different platforms and different devices, and then make a decision.
This change in consumer behavior is a nightmare for retailers. It is giving them a hard time to understand how to cater to this jumping between various devices and platforms, and convince the consumer to buy?
The answer is Omnichannel Retail.
But before we dwell on how Omnichannel can be your knight, it is important to understand
WHAT IS OMNICHANNEL RETAIL?
Omni-channel retail is an approach focusing on providing a seamless experience to the customer, irrespective of whether the customer is shopping online from a mobile device, a laptop, or in a brick-and-mortar store.
The time of precise requirements and limited options is long gone. “Let me google the options” comes naturally to them. According to Harvard Business Review,
73 percent of all customers use multiple channels during the purchase journey.
Thus, the Omnichannel approach focuses on the entire customer experience—not just the customer’s individual experience on different platforms.
In addition to the above benefits, the Omnichannel approach helps in:
- Improved Customer Experience: Consumers are tired of robotic conversations. They want to feel valued and are looking for a coalesce experience. By uniformly integrating more platforms, you can provide the consumer a customized experience making them feel empowered and in control.
This seamless experience also breaks all the multi-channel communication barriers, giving customers a comfortable environment to engage with the brands.
According to UC Today, 90%consumers want an omnichannel experience with seamless service between communication methods.
- Improved Data Collection: Expanding your wings across different platforms improves your customer reach. Thus, increasing the volume and type of consumers engaging with your Brand.
More engagement means both quality and quantity access to consumer data. This helps in a better understanding of the consumer requirements and plays a major role in fixing the broken post-purchase journey. Hence, increased Customer retention.
- Improved Sales and Traffic: With more customer exposure comes more sales. According to an article in "Inc." magazine, consumers experience an average of 150 micro-moments in a day when they instinctively reach for a device to research or make a purchase.
Omnichannel marketing is a way of reaching consumers in those "micro-moments”, and converting those moments to invaluable digital footprints.
- Foster Customer Loyalty: By building multiple touchpoints and creating a transparent retail journey you can enhance the customer experience. This shall help evoke the feeling of customer satisfaction which can help nurture the feeling of Loyalty. A Harvard business review states that omnichannel customers are more loyal than single-channel customers.
They not only buy more from the same retailer; they also recommend it to their friends and family.
Word of mouth marketing. What else do you want?
Now that we know the how Omnichannel approach can be your savior in this new normal, the next question is
IS YOUR BRAND READY TO DELIVER AN OMNICHANNEL APPROACH?
Understanding the buzz about Omnichannel is not enough to implement the approach in your business. You have to understand Omnichannel is not just a multi-channel approach wherein having a website, blog, and social media account will solve the purpose.
People are no more demanding a seamless experience across all platforms; it is expected out of each brand.
You must understand the features and capabilities of a successful implementation of this seamless approach to improve your customer experience. Let us take a look at a few concepts that can help you harness the power of Omnichannel.
- Cloud Commerce: Many retailers don’t understand the customer’s transaction history and the inventory flow across the different platforms. Whereas to provide a personalized experience to the consumers, data needs to be processed quickly and securely at an extraordinary level and in accordance with every other system a retailer employs. Thus, incorporating Cloud commerce can help in mapping the real-time data across all systems, making the customer experience seamless.
- Digitize the shopping Experience: Shop and go mobile solutions are a need of the hour. With the pandemic still going strong and the virus mutating and showing its new sides, people are scared of human touch. Digitization can help you provide a better brand experience to your customers, building their trust in you and your values.
- Data Analytics: With the adoption of cloud commerce and digitization of the shopping experience, it would be easier for you to analyze the real-time data of your consumers, employees, and inventory. This coordination will provide you with some invaluable information, which can further help in engaging better with the customers. In addition to this, it shall also help you with customer retention; It's like God just heard all your prayers, isn’t it?
While implementing these concepts seems tedious, it is not. With the Karnival Suite, you can easily implement these strategies to build a better omnichannel approach for your Brand.
It is time to analyze how prepared you are to adapt to this New Normal or the old New Retail. Think about it!