My name is Gal Perelman and I’m a new blogger here at SimilarWeb. I’m going to start with a series of articles about the online marketing retail industry and my first article is going to be focused on omni-channel retailing. We’ll go over its main advantages and my personal experience with it in my work.
Technology has been revolutionizing every single aspect of our lives- the way we communicate, the way we travel, the way we work, and the way we shop. The way we shop. Don’t tell me you’ve never ordered from Amazon or ebay or that you haven’t looked up reviews for a potential purchase online, making sure you do your research before you dish out the big bucks. So the point is, is that technology has really changed the way we shop. We embrace digital technologies and mobile devices across all the stages of our buying journey. And we expect for our favorite brands and retailers to do the exact same.
The thing is that it’s not that easy. Yes, a huge part of the shopping process is done via digital channels, but in reality, most of us still go to physical stores and malls to do our shopping. So now, not only do retailers have to figure out a way to connect mobile to online. They have to figure out how to connect the physical store experience in the two-way as well so that they can create a seamless and integrated shopping experience for their customers. Did I mention the social aspect? Yeah. How could I forget about Facebook and Twitter? These social channels play a HUGE role for retailers and brands in regards to providing a well-rounded customer experience. So this integration, the connection between physical, digital, and social to create one seamless personalized brand experience- this is omni-channel.
So retailers are beginning to understand that they MUST implement an omni-channel solution into their retail strategy in order to keep up with their customers. Because if their customers aren’t getting what they want, then they will have no hesitation to move on to the next best thing.
There are definitely some really big benefits for the retailer in implementing an omni-channel solution other than making their customers satisfied; but I’m going to tell you about the two that I think are the most important: acquiring big data for enhanced marketing tactics and increased sales.
Now, I can go into a whole series about each one of these benefits (and I might…), but for now, I’ll just give you a quick explanation as to what these benefits mean and why they can impact the retailer in a positive manner.
Number 1 is Big Data.
The amalgamation of the retail industry and technology has created an environment where the potential for acquiring big data is infinite. There have been studies that show that when retailers embrace this data, they can increase their operating margin by more than 60%! That’s a pretty big increase.
So what does big data actually do for retailers?
Improves Personalization: A personalized shopping and customer experience is probably one of the most important aspects in creating brand and product loyalty. Because of the integration through in-store, digital, and social, you can now have access to big data. The data that you receive lets you understand your customer on a personal level, enabling you to better enhance your marketing tactics based on that persons preferences. Now you can send push-campaigns, coupons, and recommendations that are actually relevant for the customer, raising the chances of a sale and increasing brand loyalty.
Use Big Data for Planning Process: Rather than making assumptions on changes and trends in the market, retailers can now see what the trends and changes are based on real data and make informed decisions regarding their planning process. They can see which products and trends are and aren’t doing well with their customers, allowing them to better manipulate their inventory. You can now fill the stores with products your customers actually want.
Number 2 is Increase in Sales
With an omni-channel solution in place, customers can now buy from wherever whenever as the retailer has made sure that serve their customer at any point of their shopping journey. And remember the personalized shopping experience that builds brand loyalty? That creates a positive effects through all the channels. Not only that, but according to a recent omni-channel study done by Deloitte, it is shown that because shoppers are now “unconstrained by physical locations, omnichannel consumers are able to access a wider range of brands and products. For instance, consumers in rural areas can shop with retailers who only have a physical presence in larger cities.” Long story short, an omni-channel solution results in higher brand awareness and market expansions, all leading to an increase in sales.
So now you understand the importance for retailers to implement an omni-channel solution to their retail strategy! They must be able to provide their customers with an integrated and seamless shopping experience, giving the customer exactly what they want when they want.
The benefits of omni-channel for retailers is limitless. It not only enables retailers to acquire big data about their customers, it also allows for increased personalization, which in turn, leads to increased brand loyalty and increased sales. So the next time you order something online or order a pizza from your mobile device, thank your favorite brands for implementing an omni-channel strategy!