It’s well documented that omnichannel customers generate significantly more sales than their single channel counterparts. The online channels of many retailers may well have received an overhaul to avoid losing ground to competitors' digital stores, but whilst this is vital, retailers should never forget that the omnichannel movement is not a fad or a trend.
It’s now a permanent fixture and is a necessity to ensure a consistent customer experience, no matter how they choose to engage with you. The physical store is crucial and retailers must realise how this contributes to the omnichannel customer journey and the overall success of your strategy.
Consumers are drawn to online shopping due to the convenience it provides, with those choosing to shop in store expecting an experience. With a shift towards online shopping, retailers have little choice but to improve their service and deliver convenience levels shoppers demand. However, it’s not just online - customers' expectations towards offline shopping have also increased.
As online tightens its hold, many retailers may have noticed that offline sales have dropped considerably. However, as the number of omnichannel shoppers is increasing rapidly, physical stores still hold importance as often both environments complement each other. Retailers cannot lose focus on physical shoppers in store.
Investment is required to optimise your physical stores, as omnichannel shoppers won’t stick around if their needs are not met. These customers expect you to deliver inspirational and value-adding experiences that mean something to them personally, in exchange for them physically walking through your doors.
Top tips to ensure your physical store meets customer expectation:
1. It’s crucial to ensure you have the right tools in place to handle the data you source (e.g. from CRM systems, MyAccount, cashiers, app, geo data, web-shop).
2. Incentives are a powerful tool that should be utilised in return for data collection and building trust. Make the customer feel safe and see the value of providing you with their personal information.
3. Point of sale kiosks and interactive tablets have the ability to generate additional engagement and data collection (e.g. personalised offers, self-service ordering, membership/loyalty sign-ups).
4. Experience is king – make the most of the information/customer data your acquire to create a desirable space that people actually want to spend time in (e.g. iBeacons, in-store WiFi, personal offers via push notifications including the data in your space management planning, and all the associated benefits).
The omnichannel customer experience should focus on delivering a consistent approach across all available customer-facing channels - regardless of whether this occurs online or in-store. Omnichannel data helps paint the perfect picture of your customer base, providing retailers with key data to drive their brand forward.