No matter what industry your business is operating within, you’re likely aware of the fact that the world of retail has changed dramatically over the past few years as technology has advanced.
While retailers used to focus most of their energy on their brick-and-mortar establishments, the marketing space tends to look a bit different nowadays.
What is Omnichannel?
In today’s connected world, it’s important for brands to keep up with consumers by taking an omnichannel approach to marketing. This means providing a consistent and streamlined experience to all customers; whether they’re shopping in-store, online, on social media, or on an app.
How Omnichannel Retail Works
Omnichannel retail requires a high level of brand awareness, as well as a dedication to a high-quality customer experience.
An omnichannel marketing strategy makes it easy for customers to shop through multiple mediums simultaneously; perhaps shopping in-person while browsing the website for additional information. Your customers, with omnichannel, should be able to shop without having to experience conflicts or an inconsistent brand experience across the different channels.
Omnichannel vs. Multichannel: What is the Difference?
Some brands refer to omnichannel and multichannel marketing interchangeably. However, there are a few key differences to consider with each.
- Omnichannel: A marketing approach that connects brands to consumers through multiple channels that work together to provide a consistent user experience
- Multichannel: A marketing approach that connects brands to consumers through multiple channels with their own distinct goals and strategies
- Single Channel: A marketing approach that connects brands to consumers through a single channel
It’s important to make the best decision for your brand when it comes to which marketing strategy would work best for your sales goals. Take into account the level of connection that you desire to have with your customers, as well.
Why Does Omnichannel Retail Matter?
Due to the significant rise in online shopping and engagement in 2020, omnichannel retail has become more lucrative than ever before. More consumers across a wide range of industries are doing their shopping online. Additionally, this makes a consistent experience across all platforms extremely important for customer retention.
Benefits of Omnichannel for Retailers
1. An Increase in Traffic and Sales
An omnichannel marketing approach typically includes a cohesive brand identity, which is known to increase traffic to your brand’s online platforms and sales over time.
2. More Useful Data Collected
The more information you’re able to gather about your customers, the better you’ll be able to serve them through personalized recommendations, targeted ads, and deals on products they’d like.
3. An Enhanced Customer Experience
Customers want to be able to move freely between channels without having to constantly re-enter their info or reestablish what they’re looking for. The omnichannel experience supports this level of freedom and ease.
4. More Brand Loyalty
When a customer’s experience of your brand is streamlined across platforms, they’re more likely to become a repeat customer. Additionally, brand loyal customers are more likely to recommend your business to family and friends.
The Four Pillars of Omnichannel Success
When it comes to the successful implementation of omnichannel commerce, there are four distinct pillars that your brand should prioritize.
1. Sales Channels
The world of retail no longer consists of a single channel with which to reach potential customers. Therefore, it’s important to evaluate who your audience is and which sales channels would be the most conducive to your marketing efforts. This could include social media platforms, brick-and-mortar stores, eCommerce, and more.
2. Marketing and Advertising
Whichever sales channels you choose to focus on, a solid marketing and advertising strategy is crucial; both are vital when you want to reach as many consumers in your targeted market as possible.
Effective marketing usually consists of an engaging message mixed with a clear brand identity that potential customers can relate to and connect with. Retailers typically see success when advertising on platforms like Google Shopping and social media.
Your brand’s operations include every step of the sales process, from product design to inventory oversight to delivery.
In order to maintain effectiveness in your operations, it’s important to establish a firm sense of connection between each point within the omnichannel retail process and make sure that each piece of the fulfillment puzzle is well-managed.
Generally, maintaining inventory visibility is one of the most crucial parts of keeping up an omnichannel strategy. As your brand expands, awareness of inventory will allow you to stay on top of your supply chain and avoid fulfillment issues.
4. Shipping and fulfillment
Seamless shipping and fulfillment are crucial in order to firmly establish the level of brand identity you’re aiming for within the omnichannel customer experience.
For many online shoppers, the delivery of the package they ordered to their door is the most tangible experience they have with the company they’ve purchased a product from. Therefore, it’s important to maintain control over the small yet significant details like on-time delivery, easy returns, and branded packaging.
How Omnichannel Retail is Evolving
The omnichannel retail approach will continue to grow along with the retail experience itself. In the next few years, an omnichannel customer experience will likely become the baseline standard that brands will have to meet in order to keep up with rising demand.
As in-app and social media shopping options become more and more seamless, in-person sellers will also have to rise to meet the expectations of consumers who desire an omnichannel experience, even when they’re visiting a brand’s brick-and-mortar establishment.
Build Your Omnichannel Network with PrintBindShip
Maintaining an efficient supply chain is essential in order to see success with an omnichannel marketing strategy. The best way to do so is to partner with a third-party logistics (3PL) provider.
Many companies experience supply chain issues when they expand in scope and increase output, but fail to make changes to their supply chain management. As your company grows, you can benefit from a high-quality 3PL management team like PrintBindShip on your side. Contact us today to receive a free quote and learn what 3PL management could do for your business.