Omnichannel: the real challenge for retailers
Many physical retailers drive their online channels and invest in developing a connection between their physical and digital stores, while many online pure players enter the world of physical stores to get closer to their customers. The reality is that the rise of omnichannel has a lot to do with the shopping experience, and less with in-store technologies.
Today what counts in the retail is the shopping experience that is offered to the customer. This shopping experience must be fluid and uniform, without cracks between its different platforms and always maintaining the same quality service.
Difference between Omni-Channel and Multichannel
Multichannel is the existence of several channels, physical and digital, from where consumers interact with the brand, but their not completely related. Omnichannel instead allows integrating all these channels, making consumers use any of them without friction.
Omnichannel is one step beyond multichannel. While the latter separates the online and offline channels as two independent channels, omnichannel links them in an interconnected way, with the aim of meeting the consumer’s demand and resuming its purchase process from anywhere, as well as the synergies that are generated.
Omnichannel shopping experience
To achieve a good omni-channel shopping experience, it is necessary to transform retail and take it beyond its conventional role. Consumer behavior and purchasing patterns influence new retail strategies. The use of different sales channels depends on the context and profile of each client.
In addition, omnichannel is not only a way to facilitate and adapt the purchasing process; it is also a way to communicate with customers and potential customers. Some guidelines for implementing the omnichannel strategy are:
- Same image/message/prices on all channels.
- Have an intuitive and updated online store with the latest news at the points of sale.
- Create the same campaigns and promotions in the different channels.
- Products must be able to be purchased through all sales channels.
- Allow store orders to be collected online.
There are different store formats with which to adapt to the customer’s needs and respond in the most relevant way possible. The point of sale can have a conventional format, be a showroom, a service center or a collection point for orders and purchases made online, etc.
Once an omnichannel strategy has been put in place, how is the impact on the physical sales channel measured?
Measuring the main KPIs in the retail sector and adapting the strategy according to the client’s behavior allows an optimization of the points of sale. Retailers need three main things: visibility on what happens every day in their business, flexibility to respond immediately to the needs of their customers and unify their sales channels.
Measuring commercial efficiency instead of sales to adapt the strategy and recognize the potential of each point of sale is essential to adapt the business strategy.
For this reason, using counting systems allows measuring commercial indicators to analyze actions, campaigns and promotions and its efficiency.