How To Win The Retail Omnichannel Game

The topic of omnichannel is alive and well and truly here to stay. If you aren’t connecting with your customers across a variety of different access points, or unifying consumer interaction between online and offline engagement, your retail business is missing out. The reduction in revenue experienced by retail firms without an omnichannel approach is estimated at 10%. To make sure you aren’t experiencing this dip in profits – and to win at this omnichannel game – here’s what you need to be doing.

Integrate Your Approach

Success in the omnichannel game isn’t about simply connecting with customers across a variety of different mediums; it is about integrating your strategies so that they work together as a harmonious whole. Start to view the omnichannel approach as a unified strategy, bringing each member of your team together and ensuring that everyone is on the same page. Smooth transitions between channels, consistency between on and offline stock levels, and a streamlined customer experience throughout the whole lifecycle are only achievable via a concerted effort. So make sure you are in a position to provide this.

Map Out the Journey

Perhaps a customer connects with your products via a traditionally deployed print ad and follows you on social media as a result. You deliver an offer to them via your social marketing strategies and they click the link and visit your eCommerce platform, but decide not to make a purchase. Instead, they visit your store one day in passing and make the purchase there, before re-engaging via one of your after-sale support emails.  This is the nature of the consumer experience in the omnichannel world, and thus it is something that you must be aware of.

Deploy feedback loops and reach out to customers to discover where they are at each stage in the process, then use this information to map out and understand the journey. You can’t improve something until you understand it, so make gaining and acting upon knowledge a primary component of your omnichannel strategy.

Exceed Expectation

Springing the omnichannel surprise on your customers and reaping the benefits simply does not work anymore. Expectations in this department have been raised. Half of customers now expect to be able to use an in-store pick-up service for items purchased online. While 84% of retailers now recognize consistent customer experience across all channels as a top priority. So, if the expectation bar has been raised, your services need to follow suit. For example, statistics show that 58% of a consumer’s in-store time when collecting an item is now spent at the checkout. Businesses serious about exceeding expectations will work to enhance convenience and reduce time spent waiting around to collect.

Going the extra mile, and delivering a positive experience during every consumer interaction, is how the omnichannel game is won.

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This post originally appeared on THINK Marketing.

Michael Brenner  is a Top CMO, Content Marketing and Digital Marketing Influencer, an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula" and he is the CEO and Founder of Marketing Insider Group, a leading Content Marketing Agency . He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael helps build successful content marketing programs for leading brands and startups alike. Subscribe here for regular updates.

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