Five Enchanting Ways Brick-and-Mortar Retail Stores are Going Omnichannel
Brick and mortar stores are slowly learning to survive in the post-pandemic era. Every pandemic wave wreaked havoc on this traditional channel, forced them to cut employees, tackle increasing in-stock inventory, and find new ways to sell products online.
Some thought of it as a sinking ship as strict restrictions forced retailers to flip-flop and open-shutdown their stores. No fixed business meant shutting stores, forcing customers to seek alternative solutions to fulfill their lifestyle needs.
A 2020 study said that the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the shift to ecommerce by five years, benefiting key businesses and bankrupting brick & mortar stores. Ecommerce served as a promising channel in those most challenging days for order fulfillment in a safe, convenient, & hygienic manner.
Ecommerce giants won customer trust by displaying the valet's health information, like time of temperature, vaccination status, etc. It posed a new challenge for brick-and-mortar retailers as they had to fight ecommerce businesses, match their prices, deal with low customer footfalls, and the drop in the number of orders from customers.
Do or die! It was a time of enormous change for brick-and-mortar stores. Stores that could pivot rapidly and create an omnichannel experience across stores, online, and social media reaped enormous returns in the form of improved brand visibility, customer loyalty, and reach. In this blog we will talk about the five enchanting ways brick-and-mortar retail stores are going omnichannel in 2022:
1) Centralized inventory
A feature lacking in brick-and-mortar stores is unlimited inventory. The physical stores have limited space to stock and showcase the latest inventory to customers. In the case of out-of-stock products due to size, color, or style, the customer returns empty-handed from the store and searches for other alternatives.
They go to another brand, channel, or location to fulfill their shopping needs. So, one brand's customer loss becomes a gain for a competitor who is offering 100% product availability & customer convenience.
In such cases, omnichannel retailing solution like that offered by Fynd integrates the brand's inventory on a single platform, unifying physical stores, large retailer's stores, franchisee stores, online channels, marketplaces, and brand websites.
The integrated inventory gives clear visibility into the brand's inventory across all channels. The centralized inventory helps view, manage, and synchronize your entire inventory. One can see many examples like Ruosh and Spykar that have immensely benefited from the centralized inventory by Fynd’s omnichannel solutions.
2) Convert brick-and-mortar stores to e-commerce stores
Imagine abrick-and-mortar store: Customers enter the brand store to make a purchase. He admires the color and style of particular products, such as suits and pants, and inquires with the salesman about the product's availability in his size.
The salesperson makes a quick check to find out that the desired product size is out-of-stock. But instead of asking the customer to come back and wait for the product size. He swiftly pulls out his tablet or iPad and conveys to the customer – "Sir! your desired product size is available for purchase”.
Yes! It is a reality in every modern brick-and-mortar retail store. Endless aisle has become a necessity today in offline retail and retailers can benefit from such solutions. Brands can offer in-store customers the opportunity to browse through and purchase both available and out-of-stock products.
The brand can delight and surprise the customer by delivering their order right at customer's doorsteps. What endless aisle offers brick and mortar stores?
- Offers a modern shopping experience to customers.
- Increases conversion rate for in-store customers.
- Proven tech to digitize brick-and-mortar stores.
- Ensures minimal dependability on physical inventory.
- A safe and convenient way to do in-store shopping.
3) Embracing new fulfillment methods
The pandemic forced every brick-and-mortar store to increase its stockpile of unsellable products. So, what should they do to make a sale, as storing them only increases the overall costs?
Brands using an omnichannel solution could easily adopt it by turning their physical retail stores into fulfillment centers:
Hyperlocal delivery: Brick-and-mortar stores are located at several locations around the country. Using digital solutions, brands could fulfill their ecommerce orders, or stores could directly reach out to their customers with personalized cart sharing features by Fynd. Stores nearest to the customer's address delivered products to the customer’s address.
Curbside pickup: Customers are presented with the pickup location either at checkout or after checkout via digital communication. When the order is billed and ready, the customer picks up the order from the designated store.
Buy online, pickup In-store: Customers can place orders online and get the earliest deliveries by picking them up from a nearby retail store. Customers benefit from this fulfillment model's speed, low cost, and convenience. It is beneficial for stores with lesser traffic to generate footfall, and an opportunity to make customers experience and interact with the brand physically.
Brand websites: Omnichannel brand websites can showcase brand identity, engage visitors, and build relationships. The brand websites are pre-integrated with end-to-end logistic management and intelligent delivery algorithms that fulfill orders based on the customer's location to save time, effort, and money.
4) Get into the game of personalization
How can brick-and-mortar stores make shoppers feel unique, special, and emotionally connected to the retail business? The mantra is to personalize the customer's shopping experience.
Fynd store clientelling solutions capture data points from past purchases of the customer. With this new solution, Fynd Store will now enable you to browse through a customer profile and help you decipher what sparks their interests.
It's a great way to delight your customers by valuing their needs, wants, likes, dislikes, and preferences. It also helps you upsell and expand the average basket size, get repeat business, earn higher revenue, and build brand value.
5) Augmented Reality (AR)
What if your customers find themselves in a sticky situation, unable to visit their favorite brick-and-mortar retailers? Retail stores can continue to serve clients without personal visits.
It is possible with Augmented Reality solutions a cutting-edge technology enabling retail firms to communicate with customers via their mobile devices. Some of the top ways in which AR can help brick-and-mortar retailers are:
A) Let customers try before they buy
An AR experience can be a fun way to show off a product when it isn't possible to show off a real one. Check out this example of an animated lego digital box at Downtown Disney Orlando.
B) Combines traditional retail experience and ecommerce
Creating virtual retail stores of any size enables businesses to maintain a stronger relationship with their customers while avoiding inventory costs and long lines.
Yihaodian, one of China's leading e-commerce websites, has teamed up with Ogilvy & Mather Advertising. Their app launched 1,000 Yihaodian stores overnight. These stores are situated in front of Yihaodian's offline competitors' brick & mortar supermarket outlets.
The interesting twist is that these Yihaodian stores are virtual 3D stores that users can only see, visit, and shop in while being physically present at one of the 1,000 locations.
We have learned about five enchanting ways brick-and-mortar stores are going omnichannel. These omnichannel techniques have been proven beneficial in the real world, enhancing brand visibility and consumer reach while driving foot traffic in brick-and-mortar stores.
If you are looking for ways to take your retail business to the next level, contact us immediately. Fynd can help you create a custom omnichannel strategy that will meet your unique business needs in the market. The clock is ticking fast! Make the most of your time. It's time to jump on the omnichannel bandwagon. Immediately Book a Free Demo with one of our Fynd omnichannel experts.