Is Omnichannel Here to Stay?
Retail shopping has dramatically changed in recent years. The advent of omnichannel retailers in the industry has granted customers the ability to shop whenever and wherever they want. Retail brands follow customers on every channel.
They record precise details of the last interaction and take prompt action based on the customer’s response on all channels. Now, who doesn’t want that? The future of retail is rapidly moving towards an omnichannel approach, where the focus is no longer on the product.
It's about providing an impactful shopping experience to the customer with a more substantial online presence, strategically located brick-and-mortar shops, and an intelligent mix of futuristic technology to smoothly drive retail sales and reach the customers wherever they are.
Questions & Doubts Regarding the Scope of Omnichannel
Is an omnichannel strategy right for our retail brand?
You can know if an omnichannel strategy is right for your retail brand by introspecting and answering these questions:
1. Are you searching for a tested marketing strategy that allows you to fulfill customer’s orders even if brick-and-mortar shops are closed?
2. Do you sell retail products that customers want to see, touch, and feel before purchasing?
3. Do you want customers to be able to purchase your products online, in-store, or both?
4. Do you want your customers to enjoy the fastest deliveries?
5. Do you want to expand your inventory and expose all your SKUs on both online and offline channels?
6. Do you want to provide a seamless shopping experience for customers, regardless of how they choose to shop?
7. Do you want to be able to track customer behavior and analyze customer data across all channels?
8. Do you want to give customers the ability to shop how they want, when they want?
If the answer to all of these questions is yes, then an omnichannel strategy is not just right for your retail brand, but a must-have.
How can I get my retail brand ready for the omnichannel strategy?
Transitioning to an omnichannel retail strategy can be a daunting task for brands, but it's essential to start preparing now. Here are some tips to help your retail brand get ready for the omnichannel future:
1) Invest in technology that will help you manage your inventory and sales across channels. It can be using a centralized inventory for a retail brand, an Order Management System (OMS), omnichannel personalization using video chat, social media, in-store, messaging, and contact centre.
2) Train your in-store employees to get acquainted with new technology like the endless aisle, augmented reality, virtual try-ons, clienteling, and how to interact with customers across online and offline channels.
3) Invest in learning to use Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) to get hands-on unified omnichannel data from different sources.
4) Have an omnichannel partner that not only offers you a SaaS platform but also offers insights and constant monitoring of your omnichannel business growth
Does omnichannel retailing really help enhance brand visibility and customer loyalty?
An omnichannel retailing strategy transforms a limited visibility retail brand into one with infinite visibility across channels. Not just traditional channels like brand websites and brick-and-mortar stores, an omnichannel retail brand is present on all digital and physical touchpoints like ecommerce marketplaces, mobile devices, virtual assistants, QR codes, chatbots, social media platforms, and touch screen kiosks.
When customers observe, interact & engage with the brand on every online and offline channel, their trust in the retail brand increases, and so does customer loyalty as they get to see consistent pricing, customized shopping offers, loyalty points, and a consistent brand experience everywhere.
Such an enthralling experience designed for customers helps increase loyal customers for every retail brand. Omnichannel solutions further assist in capturing customer data and expand avenues to treat your loyal customers the royal way.
The Top Reasons why some Retail Businesses are Still Shying Away from going Omnichannel
An omnichannel retailing strategy can retain, on average, 89% of its total customers, yet some retail businesses are wary of adopting it. Top reasons why some retail companies are shying away from going omnichannel:
They think the omnichannel transition is a time-consuming process: Traditionally, retail brands have access to a single or multiple sales channels that they think are sufficient for attracting customers and bringing in sales. The channels can be a physical store or a brand website.
Technically, it takes time to remove silos between the channels and join the customer touchpoints to generate a consistent shopping experience. But with the right technology and a good omnichannel partner, you can jumpstart your omnichannel business in as little as 10 days.
Unifying omnichannel data: Customer data is spread across online and offline channels. The data is often stored on different servers at distinct locations, making it a huge challenge to unify, format, analyze, and turn the collated data into actionable insights. For example, brick-and-mortar store data is stored at different retail store locations. Brand website data is stored at the hosting services provider, and so on.
Personalization across channels: Though the brand tone in an omnichannel retail brand is consistent on every channel, as the number of channels in a retail brand grows, so does the need to have a personalized customer engagement strategy for every channel.
That’s a lot of work for aspiring omnichannel brands, which can test their patience as every personalization strategy has to be tested before implementation. The personalization strategy would depend on distinct factors like the customer's preferences, purchase histories, browsing histories, customer service inquiries, and chat transcripts.
Fear of the unknown: While most retail brands have dug deep into best retail practices and e-commerce implementations, omnichannel continues to be a bit off the beaten track. When it comes to implementing omnichannel strategies at the grassroots level, it may seem like a tall order.
Human resources have easy to access knowledge pools and courses available for retail management and ecommerce businesses, but there is no such match for omnichannel businesses. Executors may not feel confident in the adoption of omnichannel solutions and practices.
Inventory integration: While one of the biggest reasons retail brands want to dive into omnichannel business is to expand their inventory, integrating offline and online inventory still appears to be challenging for many brands. Some hesitate to expose their exclusive in-store inventory on online platforms, some fear the complications of integrating and syncing inventory.
Crucial Research Proves the Future of Omnichannel retailing is Shining Bright for Retail Brands
Higher customer retention: Businesses that adopt omnichannel strategies see 91% higher year-over-year customer retention rates than businesses that don't. Moreover, customer retention rates are 90% higher for omnichannel campaigns than those whose focus is on single-channel marketing.
Omnichannel customers spend more: Omnichannel customers spend 4% more in-store and 10% more online than single-channel customers. For every additional channel they use, customers spend more money.
Higher lifetime value: Google found that omnichannel customers have a 30% higher lifetime value than those who shop using only one channel.
Generate more revenue: Companies with strong omnichannel customer engagement see a 9.5% year-over-year increase in annual revenue, compared to 3.4% for weak omnichannel companies.
Get incremental store visits: Omnichannel strategies generate an 80% higher rate of incremental store visits by consumers.
Consistent brand experience delivered:. While 62% of people expect brands to deliver whether in-store, online, or by phone only 42% think most brands do so. Another report on millennials states that 60% millennials want a consistent brand experience.
Popularity of omnichannel strategy: Almost 90% of retail leaders agree that a seamless omnichannel strategy is critical to business success.
Growing number of omnichannel companies: The number of companies investing in the omnichannel experience has jumped from 20% to more than 80% since 2012.
Unanimous choice of customers: Nearly 80% of customers prefer omnichannel strategies due to the seamless communication experience.
Must Read: How to Build an Omnichannel Retail Strategy to Boost Business
The Future of Omnichannel in Different Industries
Jewellery business: The value of the jewelry market is expected to increase from about 230 billion dollars in 2020 to about 307 billion dollars by 2026. The jewelry business is rapidly adopting omnichannel after the business environment worsened during the pandemic and forced jewelry brands to shut down their brick-and-mortar showrooms.
One of the biggest traditional channels for shopping for jewelry. Some of the most prominent jewelry brands have taken massive steps to prepare themselves for the omnichannel world by integrating world-class technologies like:
Virtual try- Ons utilize the digital device's camera, like a smartphone or laptop, to allow customers to try on selected jewelry.
Augmented Reality – The technology enables customers to try on and feel the jewelry without physically visiting the jewelry store and touching it.
The list of jewelry brands adopting an omnichannel retailing strategy is only getting longer. Some of the most prominent jewelry brands actively utilizing an omnichannel strategy are Fiona Diamonds, Tiffany & Co., Tanishq, Caratlane, Malabar Gold & Diamonds, and Senco Gold & Diamonds.
The future belongs to omnichannel jewelers. Adopting a successful omnichannel model can bring a superior shopping experience and greater operational efficiency to retail jewelers. Also, it can give a boost to the topline and bottom line of the jewelry business.
The global furniture market was valued at 509.8 billion USD in 2020 and is expected to reach approximately 650.7 billion USD by 2027. Omnichannel has a prominent role to play in its expansion and growth. What are major furniture brands doing to go omnichannel?
Launch of experience centers: Customers can go, touch, feel, and purchase furniture at these experience centers. They are assisted by brilliant designers who understand the furniture shopping requirements of customers and present a digital catalog of products and matching products for every need.
Endless Aisle solutions: The popular tech solution makes it easy for furniture brands and retailers to showcase their product assortment to customers on their iPad, tablet, or touch screen kiosks without having to have multiple showrooms to stock furniture inventory that can take up thousands of square feet at each location.
Buy-online-pick up-in-store: Customers can place their order online and choose the pickup location. The company's Customer Service department informs them when their purchase is ready for pickup. Some leading Omnichannel furniture brands that have revolutionized shopping in the retail industry are Ikea, Pepperfry, West Elm, and Pottery Barn.
When it comes to adopting an omnichannel retailing strategy, the fashion industry has always been about over-the-top creativity and pushing boundaries. The fast fashion market will grow from $99.23 billion in 2022 to $133.43 billion by 2026. What are famous fashion retailers doing to go omnichannel?
Virtual try on of clothing products: Virtual and Augmented Reality enable the customer to try the product and see how it looks when they try the clothes by using virtual reality mirrors or cameras in their smartphones.
Clienteling: When a customer walks into a physical fashion store, a store assistant gives the customer on the spot styling advice and product information using its iPad by analyzing their online activity, past preferences, and saved items.
A fashion store with no stock: You can’t make a purchase in these fashion stores. They have a lot of products that can be tried by the customer, but they hold no inventory for the shoppers to buy and take home.Some of the biggest omnichannel fashion retailers in the industry are Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Oasis Fashion, GAP, Tommy Hilfiger, and more.
The fashion industry has addressed one of the biggest shopping experience gaps: touch, feel, and buy between the brand and the customer by going omnichannel. The shopping experience for the customer is thrilling and is only going to get better from here.
The retail growth story has just begun the jewelry industry would be worth USD 307 billion by 2026 while the furniture industry would be valued at USD 650.7 billion by 2027. The reason is absolutely clear retail companies with an omnichannel presence grow x times faster than those without one.
Retailers have been searching for the savior of their industry for years, and it might just have arrived in the form of omnichannel retailing. We have tried to answer every question related to omnichannel retailing in detail and have discussed how every industry benefit and have started preparing for the new future in retail by adopting an omnichannel strategy.
Fynd has guided numerous premium & luxury retail brands towards the path to omnichannel growth and has set a high-performance benchmark with onboarding of every new retail brand. Fynd is providing them with world-class omnichannel solutions that help connect their brick-and-mortar stores with their online stores.
We are trusted by over 1000 brands in the retail industry Raymonds, Spykar, Superdry, Celio, Sports Station, Ruosh, Steve Madden, Campus Shoes, Octave, Nike, Clarks and Hamleys to name a few. Book a demo today to learn how Fynd can help transform your traditional retail business into an omnichannel retail business with a limitless presence.