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Part 4: Tips for Success (From a Few Companies Doing Omnichannel Well)
We have arrived at the last part of the Omnichannel discussion. No one business is the same and the channels required by consumers aren’t always the same. With that being said, we have a few tips for helping get ready for omnichannel expansion.
Becoming an omnichannel retailer is a monumental effort. That said, the retailers that can pull it off will be better positioned than anyone else for growth and success for years to come.
We looked at some of the most successful omnichannel retailers for tips for success that other retailers can apply too.
Tip 1: Focus on the Customer Experience
By far the biggest tip is to focus on improving the customer experience and finding creative, unconventional ways to make shopping more convenient or enjoyable.
For instance, while a number of omnichannel retailers now let shoppers buy online and pick up in-store, Nordstrom managed to take it a step further with their Curbside Pickup program. When Nordstrom customers choose to buy online and pickup in-store they can text the store before they arrive, park in a designated parking spot, and an employee will bring the purchased items right out to their car.
Tip 2: Leverage Technology
While online shopping is becoming increasingly popular, a recent Mindtree study found that in-store sales associates are still an important part of driving sales. Shoppers who interact with a sales associate are 43% more likely to make a purchase than those that don’t. Interestingly, the study points out that sales associates equipped with technology are even more likely to make sales.
This is something that Oasis, a UK fashion retailer has embraced. Not only has Oasis integrated their online, in-app, in-store shopping into a single experience but they also give each associate an iPad to help shoppers find products, search reviews, and get up-to-date information. Moreover, the tablets also act as mPOS devices, allowing shoppers to checkout without lining up. And if a product is out of stock, the associate can even use the tablet to have it ordered and sent directly to your door.
Tip 3: Walk Before You Run
Trying to become omnichannel without the necessary infrastructure is like trying to build a skyscraper without a foundation.
Before you even consider what your omnichannel strategy might look like, there needs to be company-wide commitment to becoming omnichannel. Executives, IT, marketing, customer support, and your front-line staff all need to buy into the transition.
Once a strategy is in place, you’ll want to make incremental improvements so to minimize disruption. For example, offering a consistent product selection based on a unified inventory system comes well before some of the more sophisticated omnichannel tactics.
A Final Thought
Becoming an omnichannel retailer is far from an easy task. That said, the retailers that suffer through the growing pains of becoming omnichannel will not only enjoy increased sales and customer loyalty, but will also have a more comprehensive view of how the business is performing and which areas are producing the best results.
Enjoyed the post? Make sure to check out
How to Build a Customer-Centric Omnichannel Strategy – Part 1