Omnichannel is widely perceived as a modern approach to offering seamless, high-quality customer experiences that occur within and between contact channels. For retailers, it means that all their channels work together to offer customers a seamless, one-stop shopping journey. All throughout, the user should be presented with a cohesive branded experience.
Ensuring a flawless omnichannel experience is important as it helps in building a strong relationship with customers across multiple platforms in the short, medium, and long term. If you’re wondering how you can deliver this experience to your target audience, here are some best practices you can adopt:
1. CREATE A SPIDERWEB CHANNEL
Today, omnichannel customer experiences are incredibly valuable to shoppers. Due to the convenience they enjoy, customers who benefit from omnichannel experiences spend more than those who use a single channel: 4% more in-store and 10% more online, according to a study by Harvard Business Review. At the same time, brand loyalty increases among customers, with 23% returning to the store within six months of making a purchase through an omnichannel shopping experience.
To take advantage of this opportunity, ask yourself what channels you want your customers to connect with. When mapping and analyzing this part of your business, don’t forget to consider all the touchpoints of the shopping experience: ads, social media, traditional media, stores, warehouses, etc.
2. THE OMNICHANNEL APPROACH FOCUSES ON THE CUSTOMER – BUT DON’T FORGET THE ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE
The first tactic we usually think of in terms of the omnichannel approach is the BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick-Up In-Store) strategy. And that’s not the only thing the omnichannel approach has to offer; yet, it’s a good first step. Before we discuss implementation, it’s important to point out that a key piece of the omnichannel puzzle that business leaders and eCommerce operations managers sometimes forget about is organizational culture and employees.
Technical integrations, eCommerce technologies, and excellent marketing strategies can only help so much; however, in order to succeed in omnichannel, you’ll need to convince the people executing your vision, i.e. your in-store personnel. If they see eCommerce as a threat, channel conflicts will show up soon enough.
What should you do?
- When you make your plans to implement your BOPIS strategy, both physical stores and warehouses need to be your allies, as these two will definitely need to be involved in your channel strategy to ensure proper collaboration.
- Depending on your company culture, you can implement incentives for BOPIS purchases, or even more: all online purchases made through BOPIS or Home Delivery will be added to the sales of the nearby physical store. If this generates real commissions, the store operations team will also be responsible for online purchases and returns.
- It’s important to determine which stores will be your central hubs, which means asking yourself how you’ll implement store-to-store or store-to-last-mile orders delivery. Does your operations team have a program? How will you segregate inventory and where will it be located?
Prepare a strategy with your team, test it, and improve it! Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, provided your team wants to become stronger than before. More best practices for improving your omnichannel approach can be found on the VTEX blog. In this comprehensive article in Romanian, you will find details regarding everything you need to consider to lead your business to success. Continue reading and get started with your omnichannel strategy!