Buying behavior is constantly changing. With the increasing demands of the customers combined with the possibilities of digitization, retailers are today being challenged to embrace change as an opportunity.
Customer loyalty is the key to success in today’s retail environment. Having an omnichannel strategy is often the loudest recommendation you’ll hear. But what does this mean in concrete terms? What could such a strategy and its implementation look like?
Why it’s all about brand loyalty through omnichannel experiences
In general, it is important to address customers in a targeted manner via various distribution channels. Omnichannel strategies require a high presence on each channel, such as mobile apps, online shops and local sales support. The customer’s needs are the focus of the retailer’s thoughts and actions. It is therefore an absolute prerequisite for the successful implementation of an omnichannel strategy that you fully understand the customer.
In this context, technical systems in e-commerce offer great opportunities to follow the customer along his or her path on the different channels and to map his or customer journey. In this sense, the evaluation and interpretation of data to address the customer in a targeted and personalized way has become one of the most important challenges for retailers.
How to create profitable connections with your customers
The synergy between the sales channels plays a major role in the omnichannel concept. The smart combination of channels makes it possible to compensate existing weaknesses of one channel by strengthen the another. There are many possible combinations including the following omnichannel models:
- Online Order
- Click & Collect
- Reserve & Collect
- Instore Return
- Instore Order
- Local Stores
Online orders and purchasing instore are well-known and widespread. The omnichannel combination options are decisive for greater customer loyalty and consistent customer journeys.
For instance, Click & Collect enables the customer to order his goods online, i.e. via the online store, and collect the order instore. If the customer is not quite sure whether he has ordered the right size when placing the order, for example, the Reserve & Collect model can work. In this case, the order is not yet completed; it is merely a reservation that is picked up in the shop.
Particularly interesting are the additional omnichannel combinations of distribution channels. To offer better customer service across the store, sales staff can order non-available products, such as missing sizes or models, directly to customers’ homes. This ensures that the customer does not buy another product on the way home.
Last but not least, it is also possible to order goods online in a shop instead of handing them in at the post office or a parcel service. Here, too, sales staff have the opportunity to actively address and advise the customer.
People are the key to success
To implement an omnichannel model, must collect, analyze and evaluate a whole lot of data! IT systems operating in the background are therefore of the upmost importance. But the truly decisive factor is the quality of the employees on the floor. The better they are trained and the more familiar they are with the products and possibilities, the stronger revenues, customer satisfaction and ultimately the desired turnover will be.
Special shopping experiences linger in people’s minds and lead to positive evaluations, online and offline. Customers become your brand ambassadors! Technological trends and modern systems for businesses in the retail sector are the basis of any successful omnichannel strategy and corporate success. However, these can only be successful if they are lived holistically in the company and actively implemented, from management to the employees on the floor.
Wanting more insight and advice? Talk to our experienced AlfaPeople consultants to find the omnichannel solution that is right for your company.
As Marketing Manager, Katja Ottemöller has gained insights into the entire AlfaPeople product portfolio and, in parallel, diverse industry knowledge.