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Omnichannel Retail Best Practices to Beat Competition & Retain Customers

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The retail industry has undergone a massive transformation in the last two years. Pure-play e-commerce brands have emerged as formidable competitors in the brick-and-mortar market. In addition to this, the emergence of new retail channels such as mobile, social and voice commerce has also changed the way retailers do business.

To stay relevant in this continuously evolving industry, retailers need a clear strategy to tap into these new channels, boost customer engagement and build a seamless omnichannel experience that creates a competitive advantage while providing a personalized experience to their customers.

Why is customer retention in retail a big necessity?

Please look at some prominent research around customer retention that shows its importance in business.

  • Repeat customers spend 33% more than existing ones
  • Increasing customer retention rates by 5% increase profits by 25% to 95%
  • 80% of the future profits will come from 20% of your existing customers
  • 10% increase in customer retention yields a 30% rise in the value of the company
  • The probability of converting an existing customer is 60%-70%

It shows customers are more likely to do business with familiar companies than the newer ones. It is one of the most critical reasons marketers should focus on customer retention.

Despite these, 70% of CMOs do not list customer retention as a top priority and become part of an endless race to acquire new customers every day. It is an inefficient and exhaustive experience for retailers that waste company resources and time. Some retailers are so engrossed in acquiring new customers that they ignore the repeat customers making money for them.

Retailers need to turn their tables and focus on consumer retention for two strong reasons:

  • 41% of a store’s revenue is generated by 8% of its existing customers. Imagine what would happen if you pampered all your customers! 
  • The average conversion rate for a new buyer is between 1%-3%. The percentage increases 60%-70% for repeat customers, and that's how vital the repeat customers are.

Why should retailers adopt an omnichannel strategy to retain customers?

Retail companies are increasingly shifting their business operations online to cater to 2.14 billion online shoppers, 28% of the global population. It would be a grave mistake to leave these customers looking for convenience and accessibility for a fantastic online shopping experience. 

Existing companies are fiercely transforming their physical business to support online businesses and grab a more significant market share. They are actively building their presence on the apps, search engines, social media platforms, referral websites & more. 

Some companies have an excellent social media presence and a minimal offline presence, while some have a robust offline presence and no online presence. 

Customers are increasingly turning their attention towards such retail companies that have presence on both offline & online channels, offer exceptional customer experience and provide prominent channels for customer purchase, whether on the mobile, web or in stores.

The availability of multiple purchasing channels leads to greater customer convenience, sales growth, traffic & enhances customer loyalty as omnichannel customers are known to spend 15%-30% more than single or multi-channel customers.

Must Read: Omnichannel Retailing: The precise steps to implement your strategy

Best Omnichannel retail practices to beat the competition

1) A seamless shopping experience for customers

A seamless shopping experience for customers

A seamless shopping experience offers accessible, streamlined and convenient processes for customers. It creates customer loyalty that incentivizes business and drives overall growth through word-of-mouth marketing.

Some important factors that contribute towards a seamless shopping experience:

Social media integration: A critical study said 22% of consumers prefer to discover new products via social media in 2022. It has emerged as the primary point of contact between a brand and the customer, widely used for brand interaction and product discovery. The value of social media is its unique ability to capture people's interests, lifestyles, and activities, which retailers can actively use to attract, engage, and make lasting relationships with customers.

Read Now: Why is social media a critical part of omnichannel customer experience?

Payment Flexibility: It has happened in retail stores that visiting customers have asked about the availability of multiple payment options like UPI, Buy Now Pay Later, Paypal, Bank transfer, credit cards, debit cards & a lot more. Ensuring a myriad of flexible payment alternatives attracts more customers to purchase products and services and end the queue and wait time.

Hybrid digital & physical customer interaction: A HBR report revealed 73% of shoppers used multiple ‘reality’ channels to discover and buy products. The future of customers is hybrid digital & physical customer interaction. Examples are integrating Augmented Reality (AR) to view, experience, and fulfil the touch gap in digital shopping anytime. 

Fynd omnichannel platform is one great example that is helping brands to build this seamless experience for customers. Using Fynd Store  in-store assistive omnichannel sales solution, retailers can digitally expand their brick-and-mortar stores and fulfill orders from customers anywhere in the country. It also offers varied modes of payments to choose from.

Customers can also pay from their own device by a shared QR code or link sent by the store staff. Fynd Store’s home shopping is an excellent tried and tested way to retain customers. Premium brands like Diesel, Steve Madden, Emporio Armani, Hugo Boss frequently use Fynd Store app to send personally curated carts to their loyal customers based on their previous purchases or wishlisting products from their in store visits.

Fynd Store also enables brands to send a special preview of an upcoming collection to its frequent and super loyal customers. It gives them early access to selected products and creates a special experience for them.  Such experiences for the customers go a long way when it comes to customer retention and Fynd Store has efficiently helped brands implement it successfully. 

2) Provide shoppers with real-time inventory updates

Provide shoppers with real-time inventory updates

According to a survey, 60% of Gen Z shoppers aged 18 to 22 always or sometimes check a store's in-store inventory availability online before making a purchase. 

Customers appreciate retailers that show transparency in showing the real-time stock level of products. They show their love by coming back to your brand again & again for shopping. Retailers get the upper hand in business against competitors that do not offer real-time stock updates. It saves the disappointment of customers walking empty handed and a lost sale.

Benefits of real-time stock updates

Accurate forecasting of inventory: Real-time information about inventory levels help retailers to plan, forecast and make proper orders.

Reduces dead stockpiles up: Real-time inventory management systems help keep a tab on deadstock inventory due to seasonal fluctuations, change in statutory mandates, outdated technology, change in client preferences, or any other issue.

Provide a better customer experience: It helps retailers decide which products are in high demand and when to order them to fulfil the customer demand and establish their image as a brand that offers an excellent customer experience.

Above mentioned omnichannel solution by Fynd also presents a real-time inventory to its customers. In traditional home shopping experiences offered by Luxury Brands to their premium customers, a PDF catalog was shared across.

The products listed in the catalog could never ensure the real time availability of these products. But with the interactive catalog shared through a Fynd Store link, the customers not only get the view of the products offered by the brand but also its availability and locations of availability.

Don’t Miss it!  4 most impactful ways to enhance your omnichannel customer experience

3) Integrate your retail systems

Integrate your retail systems

Siloed systems and inventory may not work for your retail business if you wish to stay ahead of competition and aim to retain customers. Integration allows a unified experience for your customers, which keeps bringing them back to you.

One of the best omnichannel retail practices is integrating essential components into an omnichannel platform like the retail app, POS systems, payment solutions etc.

The centralized omnichannel retail platform can synchronize physical & digital channels. It means retailers can manage a centralized inventory, observe customer journeys across channels, build their customer persona, launch targeted marketing campaigns, provide flexible payment options & ensure a personalized experience for them.

Benefits of integrating retail systems 

  • Reduce the stress of managing sales, customer service and stock inventory.
  • Allows for faster inventory management and better customer tracking
  • Retailers can automate repetitive processes and tasks, improving business efficiency
  • Retailers can get cost-effective and better control over their business
  • Reduce operating costs & increase customer loyalty by improving customer experience
  • Improve business efficiency & gain an edge over your competitors

Integrating different retail systems of a brand is way easier with Fynd's omnichannel solutions 

4) Maintain consistent branding and messaging

Maintain consistent branding and messaging

Consistent branding, style, tone, messaging, personalized content & offers around the touchpoints can make it easy for your customers to recognize you and trust the brand regardless of the presence on any channel.

Building trust among your customers is the basic foundation of winning your customers and retaining the old ones. Creating a trustworthy brand image paves way to beat your competitors. To create a trustworthy brand image, retailers need to unify the brand message across all channels.

Here are some tips for creating consistent branding & messaging:

A) Create branding guidelines: Branding guidelines can help plan branding across different channels for a consistent & uniform professional appearance. It should include 

  • Information about the brand's history, mission, values and mission
  • Design elements and types of imagery, icons & photography to be used
  • Guidelines on logo usage, voice tone
  • Colour palettes, fonts and text sizes
  • Business cards and letterhead design

B) Use a uniform communication tone

Use a consistent voice & tone in your content regardless of the channels. The content should give an impression that it is coming from a consistent point of view. Moreover, readers of the content should feel that they are talking to a human.

C) Choose the correct channels

If the retailer has a fun and playful vibe, social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram can be a good fit for the brand's presence. LinkedIn can be a better fit if you project a professional image.

D) Make branding resources available for everyone

The resources needed for knowing the branding guidelines should be available for everyone in your organization. Publishing it on the company intranet will ensure every employee is on the same page.

5) Provide a seamless customer service

Provide a seamless customer service

86% of consumers expect conversations with agents to move between channels seamlessly. Suppose a customer moves from a channel where he was conversing to any other channel. In that case, the customer care agents should recognize the last conversation with the customer. Customer service can be a crucial deciding factor for a customer to leave or retain with the brand. Poor customer service from you could mean a customer walking out on you, opening doors for your customers.

Here are some proven tips to provide shameless customer service:

Be present everywhere for the customer: Every customer has a story, and you need to be there for them at every stage - whether they are inquiring about your services, buying your products, using your services or asking to resolve an issue. 

Least waiting time: When a customer calls in with a problem, you should resolve it straight away without making them wait even for a second.

Use multiple channels: Allow customers to use various channels like phone, email, live chat and social media, to deliver better customer support and build customer loyalty.

Platform should support all channels: The platform should support all types of interactions and channels, including voice, chat, email and social media. It should ensure that there are no time gaps between interactions and customers always receive the best possible care on any channel.

Conclusion

As the retail industry continues to shift toward omnichannel, retailers are looking for ways to beat their competition and retain loyal customers. By focusing on omnichannel best practices, you can make the right decisions & grow your retail business. 

Fynd is a one-stop omnichannel service provider that helps retail businesses accelerate growth in the most challenging business environment. We have served +600 brands, including brands Nike, Hamleys, Raymond, Red Chief, Woodland, Being Human & more. We assist retail businesses in retaining more customers by utilizing our tried-and-tested omnichannel retailing strategy, which has greatly benefited these brands in growing sales. To know more, schedule a demo today!

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Omnichannel Retail Best Practices to Beat Competition & Retain Customers
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